Category Archives: Onions

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!

Om Norrlandsløk / Norrland Onion

English speakers: See the summary at the bottom!

Jeg har tidligere skrevet om Norrlandsløk i min bok Around the World in 80 plants. Dette er en spennende storvokst flerårige løk som er funnet i hager i Nord Sverige og en fantastisk matløk, spesielt for kalde strøk (planten kan dyrkes overalt i Norge)! Dette var den første løk som kom på plass i Ringve Botaniske Hagens ny Allium-hage i Trondheim (se Takket være et grundig arbeid av en ung svensk student Erik de Vahl vet vi mye mer idag om hvordan denne løken sannsynligvis ble til og fant veien til min hage i Malvik i 2004 via Harstad og Burträsk i Nord Sverige! Dette ble en spennende reise for de Vahl ikke bare nord i Sverige, men også til et «soldattorp» i Västmanland, en benidiktinarkloster og til den store svenske genetikeren Albert Levans som jobbet fra 1929 til 1950-tallet med hybridisering av løk. Derfor har jeg oppdatert historien fra Around the World in 80 plants med ny viten i vedlagt artikkel:

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English summary: I have previously written about Norrland Onion in my book Around the World in 80 plants, an exciting productive perennial onion found in gardens in northern Sweden! This was the first onion that was planted in the new  Allium garden at Ringve Botanical Garden in Trondheim (see Thanks to the thorough work by a young Swedish student Erik de Vahl, we know much more today about how this onion found its way to my garden in Malvik in 2004 via Harstad and Burträsk in northern Sweden! It was an exciting journey that de Vahl enravelled taking him not only to the north of Sweden, but also to a “soldier’s croft” in Västmanland, a benedictine monastery and to the great Swedish geneticist Albert Levans who it turns out worked from 1929 to the 1950s with the hybridization of onion species. Therefore, I have updated the story from Around the World in 80 plants with new knowledge in the attached article! I will hopefully later translate this to English.

Perennial shoots in the snow

Plenty of greens as perennial vegetable shoots are now in season here!

More planting in the Allium garden

The last 3 days I’ve  been documenting which Alliums at the Ringve Botanical Garden collection didn’t make it from last autumns plantings, finding replacements and also collecting many more new accessions! Yesterday was the first of two big planting days and as usual I underestimated the amount of time needed to plant and document and got home at 9 pm!

82 varieties were planted and I also improved the soil for ramsons (ramsløk) and victory onion (seiersløk) which both hadn’t grown well (most others had grown very well, so it wasn’t due to lack of nutrients).
Here’s a little video tour during the planting! More will be planted next week :)