Tag Archives: heracleum persicum

Victory falafels

Falafels can be home grown over most of Norway and if we are serious about climate change should become standar fare in kitchens, restaurants and supermarkets throughout the country.  Dig for VICTORY against climate change!
The ingredients:
Broad beans / fava beans (bondebønner); grown in Malvik and stored dried
Victory onion (seiersløk) grows particularly well in the arctic (or replace with garlic or ramsons)
Golpar (spice from ground seed of any member of the Heracleum genus, including invasive Tromsøpalme, Heracleum persicum)
Barley flour (bygg) – I used100% whole grain
Eggs to bind
Fry in oil (sorry, I used imported olive oil)
(Optional: house grown chilis)
Decoration: Oxalis triangularis

Golpar ready to use

Real golpar is the ground seed of Heracleum persicum (Tromsøpalme), an important spice in Iran. I use a mix of wild and cultivated species of Heracleum (hogweeds): H. sibiricum, H. maximum, H. sphondylium…and naturalised H. persicum

Holmboe’s Gratis mat av ville planter

To buy, see the bottom of this page (for å kjøpe, se nederst på denne siden).

Jens Holmboe’s book “Gratis mat av ville planter” (Free food from wild plants) from 1941 is still my favourite Norwegian book on wild food as it is well researched and includes a number of interesting anecdotes. I’ve had a photocopy of the whole book for many years (I think I borrowed it from my friend Jan Erik Kofoed and copied it at work in the 1980s). I finally own a copy of the book from the 2016 reprint!  It had somehow passed me by that it was available! Thanks to Hanne Edvardsen from Trondheim Nyttevekstforening who gave me a copy at the recent Ringve Botanical Garden Open Day!

Interestingly, it does include the hogweeds / bjørnekjeks (Heracleum) including giant Tromsøpalme (Heracleum persicum, source of the spice golpar and a vegetable in Iran). However, I don’t think he could have tasted the latter when he wrote: “….skal være så besk at den neppe er å anbefale til folkemat” (…is apparently so bitter that it can hardly be recommended as food). Similarly, he mentions that Heracleum sibiricum is sometimes recommended for soups , together with other herbs….and it is likely to be too strong tasting for most people.

He writes about kvann (Angelica archangelica) as a wel known food plant in Norway right back to the time of the Vikings. He talks about it still being cultivated in Voss (and perhaps other places in western Norway). He encourages the use of roots as a nutritous food and indicates that some people like their bitter taste, others not. Unlike some books he also says that the subspecies litoralis (found on the coast of Norway) can also be used. He also says that Angelica sylvestris is much used in northern Norway and that it is less bitter!

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30 years in Norway salad

7 years ago (11th August 2011)  and 40-50 people from the Trondheim Useful Plants Society (Nyttevekstforeningen) turned up for a walk and talk in my garden, including two journalists. Bente Haarstads pictures can be seen here:
Bjørg Hernes from local paper Malvikbladet wrote an article about the event which included a salad made with (only) 30 edibles to commemorate my 30 year anniversary of veggie growing in Malvik!
This was also the event when Saideh, originally from Iran surprised us all telling us that she ate naturalised invasive Tromsøpalme (Heracleum persicum)  collected in the centre of Trondheim…this encounter was later related in my book and Saideh kindly provided recipes!

Below the pictures is a list of ingredients!

Malvikbladet (local newspaper)          

List of ingredients:

  1. Adenophora Ex- Amethyst (blomst);Ladybells;
  2. Aegopodium podagraria;Ground Elder;Skvallerkål
  3. Agastache anisata (blomst);Anise Hyssop;Anisisop
  4. Agastache anisata alba (blomst);Anise Hyssop;Anisisop
  5. Allium cepa #1;Salad Onion;Vårløk
  6. Allium cepa #2;Salad Onion;Vårløk
  7. Allium fistulosum “Svenskelauk”;Welsh Onion;Pipeløk
  8. Allium fistulosum #1;Salad Onion;Vårløk
  9. Allium fistulosum #2;Salad Onion;Vårløk
  10. Allium flavum (blomst);Small Yellow Onion;Doggløk
  11. Allium nutans “Lena” (Slizun) ;Blue Chives;Sibirsk nikkeløk
  12. Anthriscus cerefolium;Chervil;Kjørvel
  13. Apium graveolens #1;Celery;Selleri
  14. Apium graveolens #2;Celery;Selleri
  15. Artemisia dracunculus sativa;French Tarragon;Fransk estragon
  16. Atriplex hortensis rubra;Orach;Rød hagemelde
  17. Borago officinalis (blomst); Borage;Agurkurt
  18. Borago officinalis alba (blomst); Borage;Agurkurt
  19. Brassica oleracea var sabellica;Kale;Grønnkål
  20. Calendula officinalis (blomst);Pot Marigold;Ringblomst
  21. Chenopodium album “Magenta”;Lamb’s Quarters;Meldestokk
  22. Cichorium intybus #1;Chicory;Sikkori
  23. Cichorium intybus #2;Chicory;Sikkori
  24. Cichorium intybus (blomst);Chicory;Sikkori
  25. Commelina coelestis (blomst);Blue Spider Wort;Knollhimmelblomst/Dagblomst
  26. Commelina coelestis alba (blomst);Blue Spider Wort;Knollhimmelblomst/Dagblomst
  27. Cryptotaenia japonica atropurpurea;Mitsuba; Japanese Parsley;Mitsuba; Japansk Persille
  28. Cucurbita pepo pepo (blomst);Courgette/Zucchini;Zucchini/ Squash
  29. Daucus carota #1;Wild Carrot;Gulrot
  30. Daucus carota #2;Wild Carrot;Gulrot
  31. Diplotaxis tenuifolia;Perennial Wall Rocket;Steinsennep/Flerårige Rucola
  32. Fedia cornucopiae;African Valerian;Afrikanskvendelrot
  33. Hablitzia tamnoides;Hablitzia;Stjernemelde; Kaukasisk Spinat
  34. Hemerocallis #1 (blomst);Day Lily;Daglilje
  35. Hemerocallis #2 (blomst);Day Lily;Daglilje
  36. Hosta ventricosa (blomst);Hosta ;Bladlilje/Hosta
  37. Impatiens glandulifera (frø);Jewelweed/Himalayan Balsam;Prydspringfrø
  38. Lactuca sativa #1;Lettuce; Salat
  39. Lactuca sativa #2;Lettuce; Salat
  40. Lactuca sativa #3;Lettuce; Salat
  41. Lycopersicon esculentum ; Tomato;Tomat
  42. Malva crispa;Salad Mallow;Kruskattost
  43. Malva moschata;Musk Mallow;Moskuskattost
  44. Malva moschata alba;Musk Mallow;Moskuskattost
  45. Malva sylvestris mauritanica;Common Mallow;Apotekerkattost
  46. Mentha aquatica (blomst);Water Mint;Vassmynte
  47. Monarda didyma “Adam” (blomst);Bee Balm, Bergamot,Oswego Tea;Vanlig hestemynte; Etasjeblomst
  48. Nasturtium officinale;Watercress;Grønn engelskkarse
  49. Petroselinum crispum;Parsley;Persille
  50. Phaseolus vulgaris;Bush Bean;Hagebønne
  51. Pisum sativum “Purple Podded”;Pea;Hage/Sukkerert
  52. Pisum sativum #4;Pea;Hage/Sukkerert
  53. Pisum sativum #5;Pea;Hage/Sukkerert
  54. Pisum sativum “Golden Sweet” ;Pea;Hage/Sukkerert
  55. Pisum sativum “Sugar Snap” ;Pea;Hage/Sukkerert
  56. Raphanus sativus (umodne frøkapsler);Radish;Reddik
  57. Rubus idaeus #1;Raspberry;Gulbringebær
  58. Rubus idaeus #2;Raspberry;Gulbringebær
  59. Rubus idaeus “Aprikos”;Raspberry;Gulbringebær
  60. Rubus idaeus “Gul”;Raspberry;Gulbringebær
  61. Rumex acetosa ;Sorrel;Engsyre
  62. Rumex scutatus;Buckler-leaved Sorrel;Fransksyre
  63. Sonchus oleraceus;Common Sow-Thistle;Haredylle
  64. Talinum paniculatum;Pink baby-breath;
  65. Taraxacum pseudoroseum;;Rosaløvetann
  66. Taraxacum variegatum ;Variegated Dandelion ;Broketbladet løvetann
  67. Tropaeolum majus (blomst);Nasturtium;Vanlig blomkarse
  68. Valerianella locusta ;Cornsalad; Lamb’s Lettuce;Vårsalat
  69. Vicia faba;Broad Beans;Bondebønne


46 botaniske arter; 69 sorter

Golpared onion bhajis

Gram or chick pea flour with golpar and black onion seed

The batter (add the sliced onions and water to make a thickish batter with a little salt).

Deep fried onion bhajis Persian style!

Indian bhajis are a popular snack or side dish in UK Indian restaurants…deep fried onions in  a batter made of chick pea flour with various spices usually including cumin, coriander, black onion seed or kalonji (Nigella sativa), I replaced the cumin with golpar (ground seed of Heracleum persicum collected from a wild stand in Trondheim)! Delicious!
P.S: Mental note: try with broad bean flour!

Invasive Moonglow Quiche

As I suggested earlier today, veggie quiche would be tonight’s dinner (as two years ago on this day) now that I’m back here in Malvik :)
With cold weather getting colder and the forecast insulating snow not happening, I spent the day harvesting before it’s impossible to dig the soil!
The quiche turned into an invasive (svartelistet) quiche as it contains giant hogweed (Tromsøpalme) seed spice (golpar) and this year it is topped with dried Himalayan Balsam (kjempespringfrø) seed, two of the “worst” invasive species here in Norway and other parts of Europe :)  Other veg includes leek, parsley, garlic and chili.
The pie crust was made of whole grain fine naked barley flour (Hordeum vulgare var. nudum).
The tomato is a variety called “Moonglow”!P1680238P1680239 

Harvesting golpar

Heracleum persicum is a giant umbellifer, very closely related to Giant Hogweed another very closely related invasive of more southerly latitudes. We call it Tromsøpalme here as these giant plants might resemble palm trees from afar where they grow in large quantities in the arctic city of Tromsø. I today harvested seed of one last plant remaining after the kommune had strimmed a small coastline stand of this plant, presumably spreading seed everywhere….
The seed is used as an important spice in Iran, something I learned from my friend Saideh Salamati who I credited in my book (she also made an excellent dish of the young shoots at a gathering of foragers here in June). I nowadays use more golpar in my cooking than any other spice…delicious and free!