Burdock (Arctium spp.) Greater Burdock (Arctium lappa) and Lesser Burdock (Arctium minor) can be used in the same ways. The key difference is that the Lesser Burdock is generally smaller.
Stems (pictured above) A sublime vegetable. The stems need peeling. This is very simple and can be done using your fingers or a small paring knife. The plant fibers in the skin are very tough and hold together well allowing it to peel roughly like a banana. It will need a little work to get all of the skin off. Not only is the skin fibrous but it is rather bitter. We recommend tasting the skin just so you know explicitly that it could ruin your meal if it gets in there somehow.
What you peel from the stem can be used to make a powerful digestive tea. The bitter flavors are extremely health-giving but they are also hard to swallow. If you make kombucha, the peelings work really well in place of black tea, giving a grapefruit-like bitterness to the resulting kombucha.
The peeled stems can be eaten raw, marinated or cooked. If you don’t eat all of the core of the stem as you are peeling it (it's really delicious) then chop it and use it as a crudite to dip into hummus or another dip.To cook, we suggest blanching lightly for no more than 3 minutes and dressing with some Asian flavors like soy sauce and sesame oil.Best of all, we highly recommend grilling - brush the stems with oil, add a pich of salt and grill at about 400 degrees for about 25 mins (depending on thickness).