Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) We find the best way to treat milkweed is to cook it lightly, just blanch it until it changes color (about 2-5 minutes) and serve with a light dressing. Serve it in place of another freshly flavored green vegetable.
In the summer, the fruits develop. The fruits of milkweed are tender and have that same peachy flavor that the other parts have. Although edible just as they are in small amounts, they can also be cooked (blanched, steamed etc.) and they pickle superbly well. They are so sweet that they can be used in desserts too. How about poached in a rose syrup and served with a light sorbet? Although I often eat common milkweed raw as I am harvesting it and cooking it I should advise you to eat it cooked since it is reported to contain small amounts of digoxin which is be poisonous to humans when eaten in large quantities. Digoxin is considered to be water soluble and blanching and discarding the water should remove the toxin. I have not encountered any accounts of human poisoning by common milkweed but it is always best to err on the side of caution and a brief cooking will render your milkweed safe to enjoy.