Category Archives: Food


Yesterday was time for the annual karvekaalsuppe party in Malvik.  The young spring shoots of caraway are ready for harvesting in early spring (April to early May). They have a mild parsley-like taste not at all like the seeds. They were traditionally used to make a soup (karvekaalsuppe). Karvekaal literally translates as caraway-cabbage or -greens. This soup is described in Norway’s first cookery book by Hanna Winsnes in 1845. She recommends that the karvekaal should be cooked to soup either with meat or fish stock. Jens Holmboe, in his wartime Norwegian book Free Food from Wild Plants (Gratis Mat av Ville Planter ,1941) wrote, ‘There are many homes around the country in which the serving of the year’s first fresh karvekaalsuppe brings on a real spring party atmosphere after the long hard winter’. I know exactly what he means.

This week’s veggie karvekaal soup was made from both leaves and roots, first fried in a little butter with onion, garlic, sweet marjoram, chili, salt and pepper with a little barley miso. Delicious!

When we had children, first Robin in 1983 followed by Hazel (1986), I had less time to forage for food and started moving some of my favourite wild edibles into my garden. One of the first was Carum carvi (caraway / karve). My foraging mentor, Jan Erik Kofoed, had taught me about using the spring greens and how not to confuse it with cow parsley (hundekjeks) and yarrow (ryllik) which it often grows together with here. Locally it grows on coastal rocks and meadows, further afield on farmland. However, I could never find enough. It grew well in the garden and I had it in the same spot for over 20 years, self-seeding and always there, giving the impression of being perennial.

Caraway was probably taken by the Vikings to Shetland, Iceland and Greenland, where it is still found. Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen describes having eaten karvekaalsuppe in 1888 at the beginning of the first crossing of Greenland where they pitched their tents on a grassy area: ‘…after a strenuous day, a fantastic warm karvekaalsuppe, which will be difficult to forget, was our reward for our efforts’.

In Norway, karve grows throughout the country, in the south even being found in the mountains and, in the north, to the Arctic Ocean north of 70°N. Its range otherwise is throughout northern Europe including the Baltic states, most of Central Europe and east into Central Asia, Mongolia, Kamchatka, northern China and spread in the Himalayas. It is also found in Iceland and Greenland and has naturalised in many parts of North America. Outside of Norway I’ve also found documentation of using the spring leaves in soup both in Estonia, Poland and Slovakia.


More on the multi-purpose plant caraway on  my blog as a root vegetable, spice or edimental:

9th April veggies

Tonight’s garden foraged perennial veggies for an oriental stir-fry!

Lots of Hablitzia (stjernemelde), ground elder (skvallerkål), Svenskelauk (a form of Allium fistulosum), sweet cicely (spansk kjørvel), dandelion (løvetann), day lily shoots (daglilje), blanched horseradish shoots (pepperrot) and a variety of Allium victorialis (victory onion, seiersløk) which is the earliest form I grow along with one from the Kola peninsular in northern Russia; other varieties have hardly grown yet!

Dandelonion bhajis

Onion bhajis are a popular and delicious starter in Indian restaurants and common veggie fast food in supermarkets in the UK.  They are basically onions in a gram flour batter which are deep fried in oil.  Gram flour is made from chick peas. If I could get it, I would prefer to use broad (fava) bean flour which could be grown here in Norway.  I have a lot of (bulb) onions left in the cellar, so decided to make some bhajis…..and with my cellar full of sprouting dandelions I decided to mix some dandelions into the batter for a slightly more healthy meal :)


Falafels and cellar veggie wholegrain pizza!

Great to be home again to nutritious vegetarian food! Presenting this week’s two dishes, each lasting two days: dried broad bean falafels (with golpar spice) and a mixed cellar veggie wholegrain sourdough pizza with masses of forced dandelions and perennial kale shoots!

February barl-emm-otto

A multispecies barlemmotto for dinner last night. Barlemmotto? Think risotto made instead with wholegrain BARley and EMMer wheat grains :)  The ingredients are shown with the pictures!


The first garden forage of the year!

After 3-4 weeks of snow cover,  the weather this week changed dramatically and we had the second warmest February day over the last 100 years with over 10C! Together with rain and wind, almost all of what was close to 50 cm of snow has disappeared. For plants, this has been a very mild winter and the ground has hardly been frozen. As soon as the snow had disappeared I could dig the soil. Some edibles such as nettles and chickweed haven’t been killed by frost. Here are some pictures of (apart from the snowdrops) edibles in the garden today.

Mast-o Mooseer

In 2015, I blogged on “A Year in the life of the Persian Shallot” (see and dried a few onions for future use.  Persian shallot can be one of several onion species with large bulbs, both wild collected and cultivated, apparently, mainly around the Iranian city of Hamadan, which is in the midwest part of Iran at about 1,850m asl. A couple of the species such as Allium stipitatum which I also grow now are easily obtainable as ornamental onion bulbs in garden centres in autumn (but I wouldn’t eat them as they may have been sprayed or otherwise treated badly!).

Well, I kind of forgot about them until a few days ago someone called Peyman left the following message on my blog:  “I don’t know this still be useful for you or not but here you go ;) This video shows how to make Yogurt and Persian shallot dip (Mast-o Mooseer) with dried persian shallots but you can make it with fresh persian shallots with the same instructions.

I made this dish and tried it tonight. Instead of boiling I soaked for several hours. The onions were very mild tasting with only a hint of strength. Perhaps this is a combination of storing the dried “mooseer” for 3 years and then soaking for too long, but the taste of the final dip was very good and the “onion juice” was delicious, sweet rather than oniony. So, my question is whether the commercial Persian shallots are strong tasting (I read somewhere else that they were soaked overnight first to reduce the strength). It was served together with a traditional sicilian 100% wholegrain sourdough pizza! I must try again!

Winter quiche

I’m often asked what I do with all my winter perennial shoots and other stored vegetables! One favourite is a vegetarian quiche (eggepai). Easy to make and it lasts 2-3 days!

Das Essgarten-Kochbuch: Überraschende Rezepte mit Funkie, Magnolie und Co.

The Edible Garden cookbook: surprising recipes with Hosta, Magnolia and others: Thanks to Matthias Brück for drawing my attention to this interesting German cookbook with recipes for several of the perennial vegetables in my book as well as a number of less known and up and coming fruits.

The index gives a taste of what you’ll find in the book (an English translation would be great), see below the picture!

Alcea rosea 46
Ampel-Crêpes nach Künstlerart 126
Schwarze 130
Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding 136
Aralia cordata 118
Aralia elata 116
Japanische 116
Aralie mit Anis 118
Aroniacreme nach Essgarten-Art 132
Aroniasaft 130
geschützte 25
Aufstrichrezepte 130
Baharat 80
Bambus 84
Goldrohr- 84
Schwarzrohr- 84
winterharte 84
Bambussprossen 84
Bambussprossen mit Ananas 86
essbar 84
Baumsaft 64
Beilage 18, 30, 44, 52, 102, 136
Beilage mit Japanischem Rhabarber
Belgische Hopfensprossen mit Champignons
Berberitze 8
Gewöhnliche 88
essbare 88
Berberitzenreis 88
Berberitzenreis Sereschk Polo mit
Huhn 90
Berglitschi 108
Bitterstoffe 8
Blaublattfunkie 20
Japanischer 108
Blumenhartriegel mit Aprikose und
Crème brulée 110
Brennnesselspitzen 68
Bunter Couscous 80
Camellia sinensis 56
Chaenomeles 60
Chaenomeles cathayensis 60
Chutney 62
Cornus kousa 108
Cornus kousa ‘Big apple’ 109
Cornus kousa ‘Milky Way’ 109
Cornus mas ‘Jolico’ 50
Cornus mas ‘Kasanlaker’ 50
Cranberry 104
Crème brulée 110
Datenbank 8, 141
Dessert 42, 56, 70, 74
Deutsche Oliven 52
Dschondscholi 92
Duftstoffe 75
Durchgedrehte Fetthenne – Fingerfood-
Schiffchen 44
Dureup 116
Echter Hopfen 70
Eierspätzle mit Taglilien 14
Einfrieren 68, 84, 88, 97, 131, 132
Taglilienblüten 16
Taglilienknospen 16
Eingelegte Magnolienblüten 102
Einlegen 100, 136
Erdnussbutter 86
Blüten 8
Knospen 8
Essgarten 6, 7
Essig 88, 90
Essigbaum 96
essbar 8
Essigbeere 88
Essbare 7
Fallopia japonica 28
Festtagstorte mit Kamelien 58
Fetthenne 40
Fiddleheads 26
Fingerfood 34, 40
Gemeiner 78
essbar 78
Fliederblütengebäck 82
Food- oder Aromapairing 36
Fruchtlikör 108
Gartenpflanzen 7, 10
Gefüllte Funkienröllchen 22
Gefüllte Taglilienblüten 18
Gelee 60, 130, 134
neue 7
orientalisches 96
Gewürzsumachs 96
Giersch 68
Giftpflanzen 7
Granatapfelsaft 90
Harissa 80
Hirschkolbensumach 96
farbige 108
Hopfensprossen 70
Hosta sieboldiana
’Big Daddy’ 21
Houttuynia cordata ‘Chamaeleon‘ 36
Indianerlimonade 98
Indian Lemonade spezial 98
Rhabarber-Erdbeer-Torte 32
Japanisches Wildrhabarbercurry 34
Jeon 116
Joghurt 54
Kalina 104, 106
Kalina royal 106
Kamelie 56
Kapern 92
Karamell 112
Karamellbeere 112
E-Book mit Wasserzeichenschutz (5912972-1/5e55ae6422974d65b7b8cf41e90343e5, BIC media 10/2018)
R EG I ST E R | 143
Kimchi mit Garnelen 128
Kochkurse 7
Komogi 24
Kornelkirsche 50
Kornelkirschen-Sorbet 54
Kriek Lambic 72
japanische 20
Leycesteria formosa 112
Leycesteria formosa ‘Purple Rain’ 114
Likör 130
Limonade 96
Linde 64
Lindensirup 64
Magnolia kobus 100
Magnolie 100
Kobushi- 100
Magnoliensalz 103
Malus ‘Chestnut’ 135
Malus ‘Evereste’ 134
Malus ‘Golden Hornet’ 134
Malus ‘John Downie’ 134
Malus ‘Red Sentinel’ 134
Malus spec. 134
Marmelade 62, 130
Matteucia struthiopteris ‘Jumbo’ 24
Molchschwanz 36
Mugunghwa 124
Naturschutz 92
invasiver 28
Nutzgarten 4
Oliebollen nach Essgarten-Art 138
Oxalsäure 29
Blaue 120
Passiflora caerulea 120
Passiflora caerulea
‘Constance Eliott’ 121
Passiflora incarnata ‘Maypop’ 122
saure 88
Pflanzendatenbank 8, 141
essbare 8
Phyllostachys nigra 84
Amerikanische 92
Gemeine 92
Kolchische 92
Pimpernusskaviar 94
Pimpernusslikör 92
Quiche Tilia mit Zwiebeln und
Schinken 68
Ras el-Hanout 80, 132
Regenbogen-Mango 38
Mochi 56
Rhabarberrezepte 28
Rhizomsperre 71, 96
Rhus coriaria 96
Rosenblüten 75
Rosenblütensirup 76, 80
Rosenlikör 76
Rosensirup 74
Roter Lindenknospensalat
mediterran 66
Sauerdorn 88
Sauerkirschbier 72
eingelegte 52
Gewöhnlicher 104
Pflaumenblättriger 104
Sedum spectabile 40
Sedum telephium 40
Sezchuan-Pfeffer 86
Silvestergebäck 138
Sirup 102, 130
Spargelrezepte 26
Staphylea pinnata 92
Staphylea trifoliata 92
Japanischer 28
Stockrose 46
Stockrosen-Lasagne mit grünem
Pesto 48
Straucheibisch 124
Straußenfarn 24
Sumach 96
Süße frittierte Passionsspießchen
mit Feigen 122
Syringa vulgaris 78
Taglilie 12
Taranome 116
Tee 46, 56, 64
Teepflanze 56
Tempura 116
Teufelskrückstock 116
Tiramisu formosa 114
Tomatensahne mit
Taglilienknospen und Pistazien 16
Trichterfarn 24
Trocknen 101, 102, 131
Trocknung 97
Unverschämte Fetthenne –
Fingerfood-Schiffchen 42
Vap Ca 36
Viburnum opulus 104
Viburnum prunifolium 104
Vorspeise 12, 18, 22, 42, 122
Wildgehölz 92
Wildobst 50, 88
Wurzelausläufer 71, 96 8, 141
Zierapfel 134
Zierquittenchutney mit Rosinen 62
Ziergemüse 4, 6, 7, 10
Ernte 8
chinesische 60
Zwischengang 42