Continuing a series of visits and projects where art meets my perennial vegetables. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of welcoming a delegation from the National Museum (Nasjonalmuseet), https://www.nasjonalmuseet.no/en Thanks to Heidi Bjerkan of Credo Restaurant who suggested that they should also visit my garden when in Trondheim on a fact-finding mission in connection with a planned exhibition celebrating 20 years of “New Nordic Food” in 2024 (see https://www.nasjonalmuseet.no/aktuelt/2022/nasjonalmuseets-utstillingsprogram)! Credo are one of Trondheim’s acCREDOited Michelin restaurants whom I’ve had the pleasure to work with and advise several times in the past. Here are a couple of pictures from the couple of hours they were here on a wonderful summer day with the garden at its most seductive :) 3 from Nasjonalmuseet with Martin Braathen on the far right with two Hablitzia plants to be planted outside the museum, with two also from Credo including Heidi Bjerkan!
5 years ago this week, I made a salad with 140 ingredients all harvested locally without using any additional energy than is available in my house and cellar (no greenhouse; no freezer; no fermenting; no plastics involved). This was well planned as I had been asked to provide a salad and other ingredients for a 10-15 course 4 hour dinner at the now Michelin star Credo restaurant in Trondheim in collaboration with the Kosmorama film festival (the main theme was films about food and Michael Pollan’s film in Defense of Food was shown).
The 11 categories of ingredients included in this salad, how it was planned so that everything was available in early March, and the recipe can be read about on my blog here: https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=10214
I had already agreed in the autumn to take part in the culinary program of this year’s Kosmorama Film Festival in Trondheim in collaboration with the leading restaurant Credo. I therefore made my plans to make a diversity salad back then by moving roots and plants of perennials, that I could force early to be ready to harvest in early March, into my cold cellar. The cellar is basically 4 unheated full size rooms under the house which, in a normal winter, are around 2-4C, perfect for storing vegetables.
I’ve divided the ingredients into 11 groups and each are discussed in turn below. The first group of vegetables were:
1) CELLAR STORED ANNUAL VEGETABLES
These are traditional vegetables, both leafy greens and root crops like potatoes. I transplant all the leafy greens, like swiss chard, kales, leeks, parsley and chicories from the garden to pots and wooden boxes full of soil. If the temperature is below about 4C, most of the vegetables go into a hibernation state and I can continue to harvest them when I need them. As the temperature increases many of the plants sprout and in the dark (it’s not necessary to use lights at all) the young growth lacks chlorophyll (are blanched). Here are a few pictures (the captions tell more):
2) PERENNIAL VEGETABLES FORCED IN THE LIVING ROOMS
These are mainly roots and tubers of perennial vegetables dug and planted in large pots, most of which were stored in the cellar before being moved and forced in cool or warm rooms in the house to get an earlier harvest…these included Udo or Aralia cordata (the first time I’ve forced this plant, inspired by the underground forcing chambers in Tokyo) and the only flower, oxlip (Primula elatior). Here are some of these (see the captions for more details):
3) PERENNIAL VEGETABLES HARVESTED IN THE CELLAR
These are all perennial plants that continue growing in very low temperatures such as kales, horseradish, dandelion and fool’s watercress, which despite the name IS edible (see the captions for more details):
4) TREE LEAVES FORCED INSIDE
Lime leaves are reckoned by many to be the most tasty tree leaves (at least of common European trees). I have a few trees in the garden, so I cut off a few branches a couple of weeks ago and forced them indoors (with the branches in water)….the leaves appeared just two days before time…
5) SEED SPROUTS
Both seed of annual plants like cress and buckwheat, perennial seed of sweet cicely (stratified / cold treated outside for about 3 months) and bulbils (garlic) were used. All seeds were home grown (see the captions for more details):
6) OUTSIDE HARVEST
Despite the cold weather and snow cover, it was possible to locate various plants that had begun shooting under the snow, mostly different Alliums (onions), but also Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach) that always begins shooting in the autumn. Another winter annual plant (germinating in the autumn and standing green over winter) harvested was Alliaria petiolata (hedge garlic). Also Scorzonera, Tragopogon, Ragged Jack kale and various dandelion cultivars / species were also harvested outside (see the captions for more details):
7) DRIED AND FRESH FRUIT
Apples (variety Aroma) were used fresh, stored in the cellar and a number of dried fruits (soaked in water for a couple of days) were also used. These included sour cherry, plums, apples, saskatoons, raspberry, black raspberry, redcurrant and bilberry.
8) TUBERS STORED IN THE LIVING ROOMS
These are tubers that are stored at higher temperature like oca, ulluco, Madeira vine, achira, Tigridia and yacon:
9) INSIDE HOUSE “WEEDS”
Chickweed (Stellaria media) was harvested from a pot of chives in the kitchen, one plant of Ligularia fischeri was found growing in a pot with a cactus (seeded from a perennial in the garden) and one Hablitzia plant had seeded itself with a bay tree.
10) HOUSE EDIBLES
A few plants are permanent house plants in my living room, including Cuban Oregano, Lippia dulcis (Sweet Aztec Herb), Lemon Grass, fresh Bay Leaf and Sugar Cane. The salad dressing: These flavourings were first boiled with freshly harvested sour tasting seed heads of staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) and a little dried chili. The remaining concentrated water was mixed with olive oil (not home grown although I do have 3 berries ripening on a small tree!) and crushed garlic to make the dressing. Toasted seeds (see below) were mixed in.
The final category is seeds, including seed of opium poppy, caraway, dill and invasive Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) which were first fried quickly in olive oil and then added to boiled quinoa (my own selection “Stephe”) and Henry quinoa (seed of Good King Henry)
PREPARING THE SALADS
Preparation is simple.
1) Wash and cut (I use scissors for leafy greens) all the ingredients and put in the serving bowl
2) Put aside interesting and colourful ingredients which can be used to decorate the salad
3) Prepare the dressing
4) Mix the dressing with the quinoa/seed mix
5) Mix the dressing mix into the salad
6) Decorate the salad
Some pictures can be seen below of the salads at different stages of preparation
I also produced this ca.105 ingredients salad for the Credo / Kosmorama diversity dinner last night (8th March 2017), a new winter personal best in winter diversity for me and most of the dinner guests will have doubled their vegetable life lists :)
Another post will show how this is possible so far north with snow on the ground for the last 2 weeks and no use of greenhouse, freezing, fermenting nor extra heat and also discuss some of the plants seen in the picture :)
Norwegian: Med ca 105 ingredienser alle bortsett fra oliven er produsert hjemme i Malvik, ST er min ny vinter rekord i grønnsaks-mangfold :)
Perennial vegetables, Edimentals (plants that are edible and ornamental) and other goings on in The Edible Garden