I contributed this quiche for the Thanksgiving dinner in Hurdal, you might be able to see the word “Takk” (Thanks) written in seeds; T – alpine bistort / harerug bulbils (brown) and AKK – dark poppy seeds; with 100% coarse whole grain emmer wheat / naked barley / rye pastry, with swiss chard, chicory, spring onions, onion, garlic, chantarelle, chili, blue cheese, 5 tomatoes, Begonia and common mallow flowers +++
One of my favourite multi-purpose vegetables and one of my first unusual vegetables that I grew in my garden in the 80s was burdock or borre, more specifically various Japanese cultivars of Arctium lappa, hardly used in Europe and North America apart from a few foragers, even though it’s a common wild plant and hardy. Although it is best known as a root vegetable, there are varieties bred for their leaf petioles and the flower stems are really delicious! If you add to this that the seeds are foraged by various birds like goldfinches and greenfinches in winter in addition to being impressive photogenic plants which tolerated shady conditions, no permaculture garden should be without them!
In the album below are pictures I’ve taken over the years, in my garden, in botanical gardens and in the wild. There follows links to various blog posts about burdock!
Burdock in Japan
Burdock and goldfinches
Greenfinches on burdock
Cardboard and fiberboards from Burdock and about its cultivation
An interesting barlotto (burlotto?)
Perennial Greens June 2015 (including burdock flower stems)
Flower stem sweet and sour
Burdock Flower Stalk Curry
Edinburgh’s Burry Man
This album was first published on FB in June 2012, now “regurgitated” here:
“What for dinner? “Burdock flower stalk, nettle and the onion that nods curry” sounds interesting, so why not. So it was to be… I had completely missed this amazing vegetable and this experiment was prompted by foraging author Leda Meredith waxing eloquent about it a few days ago, so thanks to her. How did I miss it? Well, Cornucopia II doesn’t mention this part being eaten, just the leaf stalks – I’d tried them and they were fiddly to peel and bitter. The flower stalks were easy to prepare and once peeled had an excellent sweet crunchy taste with no bitterness.”
I love chicories, a huge diversity of vegetable and wild forms, some perennial, hearting types, dandelion like types, various colour forms often like this one splashed with colour, varieties used as root vegetables, coffee surrogate types, forms for winter forcing, hardy, tasty, healthy, beautiful when flowering (both white, red, blue and pink forms are available) and there are no pests or diseases here…what isn’t there to like about them?
I harvested them for storing in my cold cellar and forcing later on in the season. This one was used in an Indian curry with barley “rice”.
19th October 2014: Broad beans / bondebønner were harvested today and made into falafel with onions, apple, chilis, garlic and golpar (Heracleum persicum / Tromsøpalme spice) with barley flour…
100% coarse organic rye and emmer pie crust (flour and butter) kneeded into the pie dish (not rolled out), then a layer of blue cheese, then mixed vegetables and the rest of yesterday’s chantarelles, hedgehog fungi and Russula….and then filled with egg/milk/oregano mix and finished off with Mallow flowers which retain some of their colour at the end!
Greens: Allium fistulosum (spring onions), swiss chard, ground elder, nettle
I eat wild fish now and again, but there’s always masses of veggies….and today musk mallow (Malva moschata) is at its most productive, with various Russians sorrels, day lily buds and nettles. Also not shown, I used Croatian St. John’s onion (Allium x cornutum), garlic “Aleksandra” (still going strong, stored in my kitchen since autumn), chili and golpar (spice from the seed of Heracleum persicum, Tromsøpalme)
Including Allium wallichii (Sherpa onion), Tradescantia, Ulluco (sprouted tubers surplus to my needs), Allium hymennorhizum scapes, Day lily buds, Campanula latifolia, Campanula trachelium, Allium scorodoprasum scapes, Rumex acetosa “Russian Giant”, Crambe cordifolia (broccolis), oregano and chilis