20 years ago on 19th August 2001, the Extreme Salad (Man) was born when I made my first (of two) world record salads with 363 different plants and 382 ingredients (i.e., including flowers and leaves from the same variety). During last night’s garden tour, the occasion was marked by a 120 plant salad (1/3 the number of the 2001 salad)….and it was tasted by the participants! Although far from the world record, it was probably the fastest made extreme salad as I only had 30 minutes to collect the ingredients and 30 minutes to put it together before the participants arrived! The second picture below shows the only known picture of the original extreme salad!
5 years ago…on the 15th anniversary, I made this salad with my garden helper Josefine Marie Dichmann:
40 years ago this month I came to Norway to find a place for us to live as I was to start work at Institutt for kontinentalsokkelundersøkelser (IKU; Continental Shelf Institute) in Trondheim in October 1981. The flat I found was here in Malvik kommune (Torp). To celebrate 40 years in Malvik I made a salad with 40 different genera. The names of the genera are below the pictures!
The Extreme Salad Man was asked last night to make a salad…..but he only managed 55 in total. He blames the fact that he was only given an hour. Nevertheless, all were pleased with the result. He hopes you like it too! A full list of plants can be found at the bottom below the pictures.
Half an hour “foraging” in the garden and half an hour in the kitchen and I can present the year’s first multi-species salad….54 different plants! Notable additions were dark-leaved sea kale (strandkål) and Hydrophyllum virginianum (at the bottom), moss-leaved dandelion and Hablitzia tamnoides (centre). Edible flowers included two begonias and Oxalis triangularis (grown inside) and the first oxlips and hybrids (hagenøkleblom)
Serving a side-salad of leaves of Acmella (Spilanthes) oleracea is guaranteed to get the juices flowing and lead to a lively discussion at dinner… Widely known as the Toothache plant as chewing the leaves/flowers has an analgesic (numbing) effect: “Eating a whole flower bud results in a grassy taste, followed by an extremely strong tingling or numbing sensation and often excessive saliva production and a cooling sensation in the throat”. Hence also the alternative name Buzz Balls (the flower buds). I would describe the initial taste explosion as citrousy. It’s not true that you start frothing excessively from the mouth on chewing some leaves.
:) The effect is due to the presence of spilanthol…
I usually have a pot or two of this plant in my garden to give a bit of excitement to unsuspecting guests – they usually think I’ve poisoned them…. This is also a prime annual edimental as you can see in the picture from the Lund Botanical Garden in Sweden. However, it is unfortunate that slugs are mad on this plant and will quickly defoliate your plants if you turn your back! I therefore grow mine in pots so that I can keep them out of the reach of the slugs… This is a native of Brazil where it is commonly used in salads and it is also used as a green vegetable (cooking destroys the toothache effect). This album was stimulated by a post by Stine Syvertsen on the Planteklubben group when I first posted it on FB back in 2012. Stine wrote about this herb also being used in Madagascar where it is known as Anamalao.
It grows well and sets seed most years with me…It is also used medicinally and is for example a traditional remedy to stammering! – it certainly stimulates the vocal chords is my experience! Another interesting use is that if you have a guest for dinner who doesn’t like chili, you don’t need to make a separate chili-free version of whatever you’re cooking, just give your guest a few Acmella leaves to chew first!
The first winter shoots were harvested from the cellar today. It is almost totally dark in the cellar and currently about +6C. The blanched shoots in the picture are (from L to R) dandelions (løvetann), perennial kales (flerårige kål) and catalogna chicory (sikkori). Otherwise you can see Korean celery (Dystaenia takesimana), perennial celery / fool’s watercress (Apium nodiflorum), turnip (nepe) , carrot (gulrot) and lemon balm (sitronmelisse).
The salad was decorated with Begonia flowers from the living room!
Fellow seed saver and friend Andrew McMillion is staying for a couple of days…giving a seed saving lecture in Trondheim. Andrew is leader of KVANN’s (Norwegian Seed Savers) Brassica-laug (group), so last night’s salad had a Brassica theme! In the middle is a Brocolli Raab (Rapini), Brassica rapa ssp rapa with about 40 other edibles.
My lovely daughter Avellana has been working at the Botanical Gardens in Trondheim this summer. It’s been lovely having her around and we’ll miss her! I made two salads on Sunday, the first for the BINGN students, the second as a parting gift….she travelled back to Oslo yesterday. She’ll be back :)
It was a busy weekend. On Sunday, a group of 6 third year BINGN students, a three year biodynamic apprenticeship program in the Nordic countries were here for 5 hours. This was part of a one-week seminar close to Trondheim. Part of the education is to visit and learn from many farms and gardens around the Nordic countries. The education is in English and there were students from Hungary, Belgium, Finland, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Sweden! There were many questions and lots of discussion underway. We also provided lunch which, of course, included a salad! I knew a couple of them before as they’d been at the KVANN (Norwegian Seed Savers) Annual Meeting in April!
Perennial vegetables, Edimentals (plants that are edible and ornamental) and other goings on in The Edible Garden