Borage (Borago officinalis) is an important medicinal and nutritive plant that was brought over from Europe many years ago. When you see a herb with the word “officinalis” in its name, it means it was considered to be of such importance that it was ordered over a thousand years ago to be one of the mandatory plants to be grown as medicine in the gardens of churches and monasteries.
Rich in minerals and nutrients, it grows well in gardens, even in poor soil conditions. It is used as a decoration, as a food/medicine and as well as a pollinator plant, giving excellent honey for the bees. As a medicine, people find it helpful for nourishing the adrenal glands and the heart.
The leaves and flowers are edible, though care must be taken with the prickly hairs the leaves and stems possess. While you can easily munch on a few leaves, you may do better chopping them up or making them into a sauce or soup. The flowers are beautiful and sweet in taste. The leaves have more of a cucumber-like taste and can be used in teas or in a cold infusion, added to lemonade. Italians have used borage as a filling for ravioli as well.
I’ve enjoyed making soup out of borage and most recently I tried my hand at Borage Chimichurri. Chimichurri is a sauce used in Argentinian cooking, usually at an asado (Argentinian barbeque). My family loves it and I just substituted the parsley for borage.
I hope you enjoy the recipe below!
- 1 teaspoon salt, a few turns of pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 2 cups finely chopped borage leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves, or 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/4 cup vinegar (slightly less)
- 1/3 cup olive oil or sunflower oil
- Juice of 2 limes (optional)
Combine and stir together the oil, vinegar and lime juice. Add the paprika, oregano, borage, garlic, salt and pepper. This will last about 1 week in the fridge and can be used on meat or grilled vegetables.