Marinated Green Cattail Cobs

Cattail swamp

Finding just a few ‘green cobs’ left in the swamp before the ‘hotdog’ stage

I have spent a lot of time at the Cattail swamp, lots of crazy memories and good times (losing my boot to the muck, being stung by hornets, collecting crawfish to surprise Justin with in the shower, collecting throughout the seasons from Nature’s Supermarket)  You can read about some of those times here.  If you are lucky enough to have access to this green gift be sure that the environment is a healthy one as cattails are notorious for soaking up the toxins.  Which is good…and bad.  Bad because it makes the plants food toxic to us and good because you can use a cattail stalk to clean dirty water… Just sayin…

Fleshy Green Cattail cobs (mid July offering)


Sumacade (or juice from a lemon)

Dash of olive oil

Chopped Ramps (or garlic)

Wild Onions (or onion)

Salt & Pepper

1 t of dried Wild Oregano, Bergamot or Italian seasonings

Collect the GREEN COBS of the Cattail in July when they are firm and tasty.  The green cob is the female flowers of the Cattail, the male part of the Cattail is the golden pollen on top of the green cob. (I love to use the pollen for other purposes because it is beautiful and highly nutritious)

Scrape the green flesh off of the Cattail Cob in long strips

Combine the marinade and paint the cobs with this flavorful oil

Cook in an Italian casserole

I made an Amaranth, Cattail Polenta for my August 1rst Forage to Feast, actually Lauran Holton made it, but I had harvested the Cattail cobs and marinated them in advance of her culinary creation.  The Amaranth I weeded out of Mollie’s Branch organic garden (being helpful).

Mollie's Branch

Mollie’s Branch farm is a gorgeous slice of HEAVEN

Here is that recipe

Cattail Amaranth Polenta

Amaranth, Cattail Polenta

2 t extra virgin olive oil

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1 lb of sweet Italian sausage (optional)

Wild Amaranth Leaves (before the seed head appears is best)

2 garlic cloves or ramps (if you saved any from Spring)

1 tube 18 ounces of prepared polenta, cut into 1/4 inch rounds

1/3 cup bone broth

1/4 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium.  Add onion and cook until softened, 5 minutes.  Add sausage and cook till browned. Add finely chopped Amaranth leaves and stir fry till wilted.  Add ramps or garlic and cook  30 seconds. Remove skillet from heat and stir in Cattail meat. season with salt and pepper
  2. in a 2 quart baking dish, layer polenta rounds and spoonfuls of sausage Cattail and Amaranth mixture.  Pour stock over top and bake until bubbling and polenta is pale golden 20-25 minutes.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve.