By Mick Spillane


Growing up in a small, rural town with a large Italian population, one of the rites of spring is driving down a country road and seeing an old Italian woman searching for burdocks. The typical uniform is the house-duster. Her husband will be sitting in the parked car, passenger side door open, the old Italian woman on the side of the road with a brown paper bag, and a big kitchen knife (probably dull). She is getting her burdocks and early spring is the time. And it's always secret—that is, her spot on the country road where she forages and chops down her burdock.

The burdock recipe that follows is the one I grew up eating:




1 tbsp. olive oil

1-2 cups of burdock stalks, rinsed clean of debris and dirt

3 eggs

1 tbsp. flour

3 tbsp. grated Romano, parmesan cheese, or a combination

Salt and pepper to taste




Mix all of ingredients together in a bowl. Add oil to a 12" skillet, medium high. Pour ingredients into the skillet; flip once after it becomes firm. When it is brown and golden, put on a plate, cut into wedges, serve with Italian bread. Leftovers make a great sandwich on Italian bread.


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