Potato & Burdock Root Scones 1

This recipe was inspired by the Wild Gourmets and we first tried it on our fantastic trip to the Isle of Arran with Arran Bushcraft & Survival.  They taste absolutely wonderful and are a good source of carbs.  Ideally you want to harvest them at the end of the plant’s first year or the start of its second year; the plant has spent all summer converting sunlight into sugars and starches, which are all stored in the tap root.  Once the plant’s second summer starts, all of that stored energy is used to flower, and the root looses its nutritional value.

The soil is certainly less stony on Arran than where we are in Kent (fortunately the stone is all flint!) and the root was fairly easy to extract, so we didn’t use any potatoes.  When we cooked them again back at our own Kentish ancient woodland camp, it proved difficult to dig up the burdock root, but we persevered and got a couple; we found that the easiest way was to use a good old fashioned digging stick.

Just remember that you need the land owners permission to dig up a plant for its roots.  And even then, be careful to only take a few so that the remainder can reproduce and ensure there are plenty more plants in the years to come.


  •  450g of potatoes and burdock roots
  • 90g of butter, melted
  • 130g of flour
  • Salt

 How to make the Potato & Burdock Root Scones

  •  Peel the burdock roots, chop into bite size chunks and soak in water for 10 mins
  • Peel the potatoes, cut into similar sized chunks
  • Boil the burdock root and potatoes until both are tender
  • Drain and leave to steam for 5 mins
  • Mash them together and add some melted butter
  • Sieve 2/3 of the flour into a large bowl and work it into the mashed potato and burdock
  • Kneed the mixture with both hands until you get a smooth, pliable dough
  • Flour a cutting board and shape the dough into equal sized disc shapes about 1cm thick
  • Fry until golden brown on both sides

Kane and Willow supervising Dave digging up a burdock root with a shovel.  We soon stopped using the shovel and swapped to a digging stick.
Dave digging up a burdock root

You can see loads of photos from our Wildfoods & Woodland Cookery courses on our Facebook page, along with hundreds of photos from our other courses.

About Gary

Lead Instructor at Jack Raven Bushcraft, teaching bushcraft, wilderness and survival skills to groups and individuals.

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