First off, it is important to mention that we don’t advice eating any part of a mature grown hop plant!  A full grown hop should be used for hanging in your home and looking (and smelling) gorgeous (take a look at our garlands), or for plucking the cones and using to add some delicious flavour to your brew of beer.

But what you can eat is the little tender shoots, of which we have heard comparisons to asparagus, to samphire, and with a flavour that is something like kale. In fact there was even a festival in London dedicated to promoting this unusual ingredient. The shoots have, in fact, also been described as one of the most expensive vegetables to buy, largely due to the labour intensive method required to harvest them.

We don’t sell the shoots ourselves, partly for the reason mentioned above, but we do sell the plants, so you can have a go at growing your own and harvesting the shoots for yourselves. And when you do, here are a few recipe ideas.


Buttered Hop Tops

8 oz hop tops

1 ½ oz butter

Melt the butter in a saucepan on a low heat. Carefully mix in the hop tops. Cover them and cook gently for 10 minutes. Serve as a garnish for chicken.Buttered Hop Tops with LemonCook as above. Adding a squeeze of lemon and some freshly ground black pepper to the pan for the last two minutes of cooking time.


Buttered Hop Tops with Cheese

8oz hop tops

1 ½ oz butter

3 oz cheddar cheese

2 tblsp chopped parsley

Cook as for the buttered hop tops. Put a bed of the grated cheese on each of four small plates. Arrange hop tops on the cheese and scatter parsley on top. Serves 4.


Cauliflower & Hop Top Sauce

1 large cauliflower

4 oz hop tops

2 oz butter

Juice of 1 lemon

2 x tablespoon chopped parsley

Freshly ground pepper. Steam the cauliflower whole for 20 minutes so it is just tender. Cook the hop tops in half the butter for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the butter in small pieces. When it has melted, add the lemon juice, parsley and pepper. Let the sauce come to simmering point. Put the whole cooked cauliflower into a warm dish and spoon the sauce over the top. Serves 4.


Baking Powder substitute

Grind dried hop flowers to a powder. Use 1 tablespoon to 1 lb plain flour.


Hop Top scramble

8 oz hop tops

8 oz button mushroom

8 eggs

2 oz butter

Cut hop tops into lengths and simmer in lightly salted water for 5 minutes. Drain. Thinly slice the mushrooms and beat the eggs. Melt butter in a saucepan on a low heat. Put in the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Add the hop tops and cook for 1 minute more. Carefully stir in the eggs until they set to a soft scramble. Serve with jacket potatoes or on toast. Serves 4.


Hop Top Tart

Wholemeal pastry made with 8 oz flour

8-12 oz hop tops

6 oz cooked ham

4 oz curd cheese

4 spring onions (finely chopped)

4 x tablespoon chopped parsley

Oven reg: 6/200celsius/400F. Make pastry and chill. Cut hop tops into lengths. Simmer in salted water for 10 minutes. Drain. Chop ham. Put in curd cheese. Beat 3 eggs into cheese. Stir in onions, parsley and season. Line a 10″ tin with pastry. Put in hop tops & ham & pour on egg mixture. Bake 35 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

Shop Hops Now!