Tonight’s perennial vegetables from the garden, used in a stir-fry: Top right and clockwise: Sochan / Cherokee greens tops (Rudbeckia laciniata); Norsk: Kyss-meg- over-gjerde (picture at the bottom) Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) “Skomvær”; Norsk: engsyre (picture at the bottom) Garlic shoots (Allium sativum) from a clump grown as a perennial; Norsk: hvitløk Perennial chicory tops (Cichorium intybus) Urtica platyphylla (a Japanese nettle species; later than Urtica dioica) Cabbage thistle (Cirsium oleraceum); Norsk: kåltistel From top and down Sherpa onion (Allium wallichii); perfect time for harvesting; Norsk: Sherpaløk Hogweed tops (Heracleum); Norsk: bjørnekjeks Hosta fortunei var. albopicta f. aurea Allium nutans; Norsk: Sibirsk nikkeløkSochan tops are excellent A sorrel I collected at Skomvær, an island outermost in the Lofoten Islands; it is floriferous and has a compact growth form!
Wild Enoki, Oca, Hablitzia, wild buckwheat sprouts, Allium nutans with dandelion, garlic chilis mixed with scrambled eggs for a delicious home grown and foraged lunch! Enoki is one of the hardiest fungi appearing often midwinter in mild winters. Also known as velvet shank (vintersopp in Norwegian, meaning winter fungus; Flammulina velutipes). Many had been reporting finding this species recently, and I too found some when I visited the botanical garden the other day! It’s difficult to believe that this is the same fungi as Enokitake or Enoki, sometimes offered in supermarkets and one of the most popular cultivated fungi in the Far East. The cultivated fungi are long and white as they are grown in the dark in an enriched CO2 environment which gives longer stalks.
We occasionally eat wild fish and bacalhau is a favourite made from Norwegian dried cod that can be found in supermarkets here. More or less anything goes in bacalhau (bacalao) and although most people make it in the same way – layers of potato, fish, tomato and onions, often with chili – the Portuguese have hundreds of ways of preparing baccalao (dried cod). Being self-sufficient, detailed recipes aren¨’t useful and we use whatever is available at the moment. Winter is the time for stored bulbs, corms, tubers, rhizomes, and taproots. See below the picture for yesterday’s baccalao ingredients with 14 home grown below surface storage organs plus some greens (I’m pretty sure nobody else had this version of the dish…ever!):
Oca (Oxalis tuberosa): yellow and red varieties Garlic / hvitløk (Allium sativum) Wapato (Sagittaria latifolia) Potato / potet (Solanum tuberosum) – 2 varieties Jerusalem artichokes / jordskokk (Helianthus tuberosus) Parsnip / pastinakk (Pastinaca sativa) Scorzonera / scorsonerrot (Scorzonera hispanica) Common onion / kepaløk (Allium cepa) Cacomitl (Tigridia pavonia) Yacon (Polymnia sonchifolia) Burdock / storborre (Arctium lappa) Madeira vine (Anredera cordifolia) Parsnip / pastinakk (Pastinaca sativa) shoots – had started shooting in the cellar Leaf beets / bladbete (Beta vulgaris var. flavescens) – 3 varieties Allium nutans (forced in the living room) plus (not home grown) organic tomatoes, olive oil and olives (I forgot the dandelion…will add tonight: we make enough that it lasts for several days….and the taste improves!)
Continuing my series of photographing my veggies, all from the garden this time. Just three this time, added to a pea soup. Allium nutans (or hybrid) (Siberian nodding onion) Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach, stjernemelde) Rumex patientia (patience dock, hagesyre)
Somebody asked me the other day if I use floating mulch (fiberduk / agryl) to be able to harvest all these greens so early. No, no and again no….this is one of the biggest benefits of perennial vegetables….it is totally natural, no microplastics are released into the environment, no oil is needed to plough the fields, significantly less migrant labour is needed and little or no fertiliser and water is needed, it is almost totally free once established and can yield year after year! So, whilst large areas of farmland in the northern hemisphere are being covered by plastic mulches to bring on annual crops for the market earlier, I’d just like to point out that there’s an alternative better way! So, here are the plants that I harvested for yesterday’s delicious green pasta sauce: Armoracia rusticana shoots (horseradish / pepperrot) Myrrhis odorata (sweet cicely / spansk kjørvel) Houttuynia cordata “Chinese Market” (shoots and rhizomes from the cellar; this cultivar is significantly larger than other Houttuynia I’ve grown) (Fish herb, Himalayan water creeper) Allium senescens x nutans (hybrid Siberian onions) Laurus nobilis (bay / laurbær) Brassica oleracea (perennial kales) Crambe maritima (sea kale / strandkål) Taraxacum officinale (dandelion / løvetann) Allium x proliferum (walking onion / luftløk) Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach / stjernemelde) Dystaenia takesimana (giant Ulleung celery, seombadi) Oenanthe javanica (seri) Polymnia edulis (yacon) (second picture) plus garlic and chili
Several Alliums are extremely hardy and can stand green all winter even when exposed to temperatures under -20C. Similarly, young leaves of species that start to sprout in early spring as soon as the frost disappears near the surface have no problem with snow and frosts. Here are a few after yesterday’s snowfall!