Harvest young greenbrier shoots or buy from Foraged. Have them ready.
Sort your greenbrier shoots into their various thicknesses - this will make blanching the shoots easier.
3. Trim the dried or tough bottoms of any of the shoots. Remove any discolored tendrils and trim any dark or soft spots.
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and prepare a bowl of ice water. Cooking one thickness at a time, submerge the shoots in the boiling water and cook until they turn bright green, about 30 seconds.
The thinner ones will cook faster. Remove from the pot and immediately submerge in ice water to halt the cooking. Repeat with remaining thicknesses.
Store or prepare according to recipe instructions.
Try adding them to a polenta
Try them in our recipe for greenbrier with lemony cream
Try them in a frittata
Many people will say that any Spring shoot that’s green and crunchy kind of “tastes like asparagus” – but in greenbrier’s case, it does! The flavor can change drastically based on species and region, but they’re always sweet, green, and pleasantly vegetal. Plus, their curled stalks and long tendrils make for whimsical shapes and deliver a delightful crispy-tender crunch.
The thorns of the greenbrier plant are tough, sharp, and hard when the vine is mature but tender and soft when young. When we talk about eating greenbrier, we’re talking just about the shoots in Spring. The new growth of the plant has a texture like young asparagus, with a little less woodiness.
It’s best to first prep your greenbrier shoots by trimming, blanching, and shocking the stalks. This turns them bright green but keeps their crisp-tender texture. Once prepped, they can be sautéed, grilled, chopped in a salad, served under fish, or sliced in egg dishes. It’s such a versatile and approachable vegetable, you can’t go wrong!
Greenbrier grows abundantly in a variety of soil compositions – but you can also purchase some directly from reputable foragers right here on Foraged Market!
The Greenbrier in these photos were provided by Commander’s Cap Organics!