Indian Celery, or Cow Parsnip, is a native, perennial herb with edible young shoots and leaves - as well as roots, flowers, and seeds!
While Indian Celery tends to be treated like a weed these days, it was once one of the most widely and intensively used Spring food-plants in the Northwest. Once peeled, young shoots can be eaten raw or cooked and can have a mild and crisp flavor like celery (taste becomes milder the longer it’s cooked). Leaves have a stronger parsley-like flavor and are wonderful prepared in many ways as a leafy vegetable. In addition, one can eat the flower buds, seeds, and cooked roots (although they have a more intense peppery flavor). Stalks are very nutritious, containing up to 18% protein.
Inspired by Laurie Constantino's wild food post, here's our own recipe from our recent adventures making Indian Celery "Chips".
- Prep time: 20 min
- Cooking Time: 15 min
- Implements Needed: Oven
- Serves 2 people
- 1 lb of fresh Indian Celery Leaves
- 1 cup sunflower or coconut oil
- 1 tbps fine ground sea salt
- 1 tbps sage or fennel
Wear gloves (not like me), and use a sharp knife to remove young leaves individually at the base of the stem. Harvest the youngest, firmest leaves.
1. Wearing gloves, place Indian Celery Leaves on a cutting board and chop into 3"x3" pieces.
2. Place chopped leaves into a baking dish and add the oil, salt, and herb mixture. Gently toss the leaves, ensuring every piece is thoroughly coated.
3. Place the leaves in a pre-heated oven at 300 degrees. (Using a larger baking tray and spreading the leaves out on the tray can help to create crispier chips!) Cook for 20-25 minutes.
4. Remove from the over and allow the chips to cool. Then serve right away!