Milkweed is actually far from being a pest, and its usefulness is often overlooked. Butterflies, namely monarch butterflies, love milkweed. It's the sole source of food for the larva. It's also known for repelling pests from the garden, and the sap is useful in treating poison ivy. Personally... I prefer to eat it.
There are a lot of myths floating around the net about the preparation of milkweed. Some make it an extensive process, involving several changes of water and careful cooking time. Nonsense. It's overkill.Why make more work for yourself when you don't have to?
Stuffed Milkweed Pods
Milkweed pods (2-3 inch size)
Ok, so I don't have measurements. You just sorta have to wing this one.
Dice bacon and cheese into small pieces. The smaller the pieces, the easier it is to fill the milkweed.
Take the blanched pods and carefully, with a sharp knife, cut through the skin and into the white center, being careful not to cut completely through the pod. Pull the sides apart, so that the pod looks like a little boat.
Stuff a couple pieces of bacon in the bottom of each milkweed pod, then put in the cheese.
Grease a baking pan (bacon grease works best) and arrange the pods. Bake at 275 degrees until the cheese is all melty.
If you want a little crisp on top use the broiler. This also works well with pepperoni and sharp cheddar.
Flavor-wise, milkweed pods are really a lot like asparagus. Soft and just slightly sweet. They're very earthy and "fresh" tasting, and obviously very... vegetable. Stuffing the pods is just one way to enjoy this mid-summer treat.
Collecting milkweed can be a messy process. If you don't like gunk on your hands, you may want to get yourself a pair of rubber gloves. I didn't bother with all that, but by the time I was done I did look like I tried to strangle a bottle of Elmer's glue. The sap of the milkweed is a lot like the sap in dandelions, only... gluey-er.
With milkweed pods collected, wash them in luke warm water to remove debris and sap. Heat a large pot of water to boiling and gently blanch the pods. They'll float so you'll want to keep pressing them down with a large spoon. Some of them will lightly burst, but nothing explosive. You'll just here light "psssshhhhhh" sounds when the pods split. Blanch for 4-5 minutes then rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. From here you can saute them, freeze them, roast them... or just eat them. Technically you can eat them completely raw. The tiny white middles are lovely.
So after blanching, I decided to stuff the pods with yummy goodness, also known as mozzarella and bacon.