If you love cucumber, but your tummy doesn’t, try the companion herb that has a cucumber flavor: Borage.
This sun loving annual or biennial (depending upon the climate) grows so vigorously that, at maturity, it may need staking. Its star shaped blue flowers are sometimes candied and bees love borage. I like to harvest borage leaves fairly quickly, even before flowering, when the leaves are young and tender. Make successive plantings to carry you through fall.
Borage contains vitamins A, C, iron and copper. It is anti-inflammatory, as well.
I add tender, new borage leaves to salads and drinks. The leaves, as they mature, are sometimes too bristly and coarse to eat raw, but they can be cooked. Try including borage with fish, such as salmon.
The flowers, as mentioned above, can be candied or sprinkled on salads or added to herbal vinegars.
Tips from Rita’s garden:
Natorp’s carries beautiful borage plants, along with a “sister” herb, salad burnet, which is another cucumber flavored herb. Salad Burnet is a hardy perennial and it’s small, lacy leaves are beautiful and tasty atop a summer salad.
MY FAVORITE WARM WEATHER SALAD DRESSING:
Pour into a jar and shake well:
1 part Balsamic vinegar
2 parts Grapeseed or favorite oil
Squirt of Dijon mustard
Couple grindings of fresh black pepper
Few snips of your favorite herb