Old World - Wild Recipes - Wildcrafting & Foraging

Carduni Made with Burdock Leaves

Carduni made with Burdock Leaves
Carduni Made with Burdock Leaves - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Yes, Carduni Made with Burdock Leaves!

Carduni is an Italian food made with the carduni stems, if you live in Italy, or burdock stems if you live in the US and don’t have real carduni. My Italian Mother-In-Law taught me to make her traditional Carduni with burdock stems in place of the Old World carduni plant back when I was a newlywed.

Every year I make a few batches of Carduni patties for our dinner table and we all enjoy them with a little cheese or hot sauce on top. You can read the original recipe made with the stems in my post Foraging for Burdock and Making Carduni.

Burdock plant

I really enjoy the original recipe, but I don’t like wasting food even when it’s free! And since the burdock leaves are also edible I decided to try using them this spring. In addition to the following recipe for Carduni Made with Burdock Leaves, I also created the recipe Creamy Burdock Soup.

Before you collect and eat any wild edible plants, make absolutely sure that you have identified them properly! Do NOT mistake rhubarb leaves for burdock leaves as rhubarb leaves are toxic!

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Burdock leaves ready for making Carduni
Burdock leaves washed and ready to chop.

Boiling Burdock Leaves Before Making Carduni

Burdock leaves have a bit stronger flavor than the stems. If you don’t like very strong, somewhat bitter tasting foods I suggest that you boil the leaves in two changes of water to remove some of that intense flavor. The cooking water may be cooled and used as an herbal drink or for a facial cleanser…something I am planning to try.

Frying Carduni patties in oil

Using the Whole Plant

The entire burdock plant is edible, although I don’t recommend nibbling on the seed heads. The roots are best consumed at the end of the first year of growth. I hope to try the flower stems next because those are supposed to be one of the most tender and tasty parts of burdock, once they’ve been peeled!

So, in the spirit of using the whole plant and making the most of what I have on hand, here is my recipe for Carduni Made with Burdock Leaves. I hope you get a chance to try this!

Carduni made with Burdock Leaves

Carduni Made with Burdock Leaves

Lisa Lombardo
Carduni is usually made with leaf stalks, but I tried making it with the leaves and it turned out delicious!
4.67 from 3 votes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 9 patties


  • 2 cups prepared leaves packed tightly
  • 7 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2-3 Tbsps parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Prepare burdock leaves: wash leaves thoroughly and chop coarsely, place in large saucepan with 2 or 3 inches of water in the bottom. Bring water to a low boil and stir. Cook until leaves are al dente. Remove from heat, drain, add another 2 or 3 inches of water and bring to a boil again. Turn heat off and drain. (If you like strong flavors, you do not need to change the water…just cook until leaves are tender, then drain.) Allow to cool until you are able to squeeze most of the liquid out. Set aside.
  • Lightly beat eggs in a large bowl.
  • Add prepared burdock leaves, chopped green onion, bread crumbs, and seasonings. Mix well.
  • Pour vegetable oil into a non-stick frying pan and place on medium high heat.
  • When pan is nice and hot, spoon batter into pan in patties of about 1/3 cup each. Pat down slightly to shape.
  • Fry patties until golden brown, then flip to brown the other side.
  • Remove cooked patties and place on a plate covered with paper towels to remove excess oil.
  • Repeat with remaining batter.
  • Top with hot sauce, ketchup, cheese, or just sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and enjoy!
Keyword Burdock
This is the area where I used to forage as a kid!

Foraging for Food from the Wild is a Great Skill to Learn!

There is something very satisfying about knowing how to identify and consume wild edibles. I started foraging as a kid growing up on a farm in Western New York. I read my Dad’s army survival book and went foraging for the edible wild plants listed within.

When my Mother-in-Law offered to teach me how to cook another food from the wild, I jumped at the chance! Cleaning and cooking the burdock stems was a rather tedious process. Over the years I have found that the stems don’t need quite as much cleaning. Now I give them a good wash, chop them up, and cook in one pot of water. She used to change the water and cook again to remove some of the strong flavor. Have I mentioned that I don’t mind strong ‘weedy’ flavors? 🙂

Chopped burdock leaves and stems.

When I made the recipe for Carduni with burdock leaves, I didn’t change the water and cook the leaves twice. The flavor was fine for me, but my husband thought it was a little strong and bitter. So, in the future, I will most likely use 2 changes of water for cooking the leaves ahead of time.

Learning to cook wild edible plants is a learning process. The most important skill is proper identification. Make sure you know what you are eating!

Read about Sunshine’s Adventures with Wild Edibles!

Do you forage for wild foods? What is your favorite wild edible?

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Carduni Made with Burdock Leaves - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

My Linky Parties

22 Comments on “Carduni Made with Burdock Leaves

  1. 4 stars
    I made this recipe with the burdocks growing in my backyard. I substituted crushed pork rinds at a 1 to 1 ratio to make the recipe keto. You will need more burdock than you think to achieve 2 cups (it wilts when boiled like spinach). After 2 rounds of boiling the burdock was not bitter at all. The mixture seemed quite “goopy” so in order to give it more structure I added about 1 cup of shredded parmesan cheese and then froze the mixture for about 15 minutes prior to scooping it into the pan. Perhaps because of the parmesan cheese I added, it was a lot more “brown” than in the picture. I may try adding an additional cup of burdock next time. Overall yummy, and hot sauce paired very well with it on top.

  2. 5 stars
    shalom, i have a huge plant growing in my garden and will make use of it thank you for this recipe! it sure takes up a lot of space in my garden! im planning on using the whole plant, tinctures, and wash for exema! havea blessed season!

    1. That’s wonderful, Elaine! Best wishes with your burdock tincture… let us know how it goes. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Perhaps you can help. Nearly 60 years go my dad, grandfather and I would search northern New Jersey for cardoon. We were careful to differentiate them from burdock by stem color. Cardoon stems were all green, and burdock had some red on the stem. Burdock stems were bitter when cooked. In cooking the cardoon we cut off the leaves, washed the stems, and boiled them until they were tender. We would then coat then with a mixture if grated cheese and bread crumbs, and fry the whole plant. The base if the plant was bitter, but the individual stalks were delicious. On one trip the property owner asked what we were doing, and grandpa said we were collecting stalks for our sick (nonexistent) horse. Some years ago I found some in MA and introduced mt son to them.

    1. Hi Joe,
      Cardoon, burdock, and artichokes are all edible members of the thistle family. I was not aware that cartoons grow wild anywhere in the United States. However, it would not be surprising if they have escaped cultivation and naturalized in some areas. I found an article that talks about the differences between these plants and hopefully it will be helpful. Let me see if this link will work in my comment…
      Edible thistles

      I hope this helps!

  4. I can’t wait to try this recipe. We have a lot of burdock plants where we live in VT. I just made the fried carduni a couple of nights ago and we loved it. Just one question: Are you only using the leaves for this recipe?

    1. Hi Joanne,
      In that recipe I used mostly leaves with a few stems included. In the last couple of weeks I’ve used only stems, stems and leaves, and only leaves. I think my family likes the ones made with only stems best. I liked all 3 versions. Use what you have and let me know how you liked them!

      1. I chickened out. Only made the stem version. Wondering if you can make pesto using the leaves. Anyone ever tried that?

      2. Hi Joanne,
        I’m sorry I didn’t see your question until now. I think that the leaves of burdock might be a bit strong in flavor for making pesto. Let me know if you try it!

  5. This sounds delicious! I’ve printed it to try (thank you for having the recipe print option, I love that!) We appreciate you sharing it with us at the Homestead Blog Hop, please come back again soon!

    1. Thank you so much, Ann! I hope you enjoy it. Yes, I really like the print feature for recipes too. Thanks for hosting the Homestead Hop…I have fun visiting every week!

  6. 5 stars
    Hi Lisa! Hi Lisa!
    Definitely a recipe to put in the rotation when we get a chance- thanks for sharing on the Family Homesteading and Off the Grid blog hop!

    1. Hope you like it! It’s a good way to get a lot of vitamins … and get your garden weeded. 🙂

  7. 4 stars

    This is great! I’m aware of the medicinal uses, but I hadn’t looked for ‘food’ recipes. This sounds delicious! Hubby figured out nettles (which is delicious). I shall now try the MUCH easier forging of burdock.

    1. Hi Kyla,
      Oh yes, burdock is so much easier to pick that stinging nettles! I hope you like this recipe…let me know what you think!

  8. I got the chance to try burdock root two weeks ago at a Wild Edibles class. It has an interesting flavor, but not bad. The root the lady brought was like 3 feet long!

    I had never heard of carduni before. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    Do you dig your own burdock root?

    1. Hi Laurie…I haven’t been using the roots. I have used the stems for years and this year I started using the leaves. The flower stems and roots are in my future plans. 🙂

      1. I worked in the opposite direction I STARTED with the root. see kinpira (toothpick slice and stirfried)
        next I diced the root (3/8 th inch) root and pan roasted to a brown crisp (smokey!!) and ground for a coffee/cacao like brew. Sweetened in an egg toddy. yum! I chew the seeds for the medicinal benefits (acquired but you sound up to it!) I have made a tea with the leaves but cannot recall what I combined them with (maybe boullion?) always used tender small leaves. I saw an article that tribal Indian women would wipe their arms with the leaves when doing long stints in the hot sun! That sounds iffy to me! lol thx for your recipe! It is spring so must wait a bit to try it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.