AROUND THE WORLD IN THE EDIBLE GARDEN; Part 3 – Southern Europe and the Mediterranean countries Inviting you to the third in a series of dinners from Malvik’s Edible Garden where we “forage” from different parts of the world! If you’ve visited countries in south east Europe you will no doubt have eaten the delicious vegetable pies like Greek spanakopoita, Turkish börek, Italian Torta pasqualina, Bulgarian banitsa and others. Inspired by these and not wanting to make the time consuming to make filo pastry, we made a 100% wholegrain rye/barley quiche like dish with large quantities of the following perennial greens:
From left to right (from top left) : Allium ursinum (ramsons; ramsløk) Rumex patientia (patience dock; hagesyre) Urtica dioica (stinging nettle; brennesle) Silene vulgaris (bladder campion; engsmelle) Rumex scutatus (Buckler-leaved sorrel; Fransksyre) Rumex acetosa (sorrel; engsyre) Myrrhis odorata (sweet cicely; Spansk kjørvel) Malva alcea (hollyhock mallow; rosekattost) Melissa officinalis (lemon balm; sitronmelisse) Scorzonera hispanica (Scorzonera; scorsonnerot, svartrot) Asparagus officinalis (asparagus; asparges) Humulus lupulus (hops; humle) Tragopogon pratensis (Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon; geitskjegg) Taraxacum “Moss-leaved dandelion” Campanula trachelium (nettle-leaved bellflower; nesleklokke) Brassica oleracea “Daubenton variegated” (perennial kale; flerårige kål) Allium zebdanense (white flowers) from Lebanon (with garlic and chili and imported olives)
Last night we made a green pea soup and apart from the Hablitzia (Caucasian spinach / stjernemelde), I used perennial vegetables growing in a wild part of the garden. With little or no help from me there’s a bounty of wild edibles in this area under wild hazels (Corylus avellana) and this made for a delicious pea soup with masses of greens. Campanula latifolia is documented as used in spring soups in the 16th century in my area in Norway and Heracleum shoots are also a tradional soup ingredient, in particular Russian borsch now thought of as a beetroot soup was originally made with hogweed shoots.
I noticed yesterday that the ostrich ferns (strutseving) in the forest garden had put on a spurt despite the cold weather and were almost past the harvesting stage. This is the main disadvantage of this great vegetable. The harvesting window is very narrow. I quickly harvested some, taking care not to take more than 1/3 of the shoots. Together with Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach), a bit of sea kale (strandkål), ramsons (ramsløk) and sand leeks (bendelløk) this made a delicious green pasta sauce. See the video before I picked below!
Presenting yesterdays greens used on a veggie 100% whole grain barley/spelt/rye sourdough pizza were: Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach /stjernemelde) (eaten now every day since the beginning of March and there’s more to harvest now than at any time since I started!) Crambe maritima (sea kale / strandkål) Allium ursinum (ramsons / ramsløk) Levisticum officinale (lovage / løpstikke) (I call blanched lovage “spring celery” as it’s not that much stronger than celery…and much easier to grow than celery organically) Ligularia fischeri (Gomchwi; Fischer’s Ligularia / Koreansk nøkketunge) (King of the Sannamul: see http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?page_id=3114) Rumex patientia (Patience dock / Hagesyre) Bistorta officinalis (Bistort / Ormerot)
The udo (Aralia cordata) shoots had begun to lift the forcing bucket, so time for the annual udo salad, a variant this year, East meets West salad…the udo paired with garden grown ramsons (ramsløk)! Delicious!
The first veggie food I ate was macaroni cheese and chips at Edwin Jones (now Debenhams) in Southampton, a treat when we Mum took us shopping back in the 60s…
Most years since I’ve followed this tradition on or near my birthday, no chips this year as the potatoes have run out and nowadays the macaroni cheese is mixed with masses of green stuff both from the garden and, yesterday, fiddleheads harvested on the Homla walk. This is more or less the only time in the year I have dessert and the only time I eat sugar…in rhubarb crumble, also with family roots back to the 60s :)
rhubarb crumble, also with family roots back to the 60s :)
My second unsuccessful attempt to find ramsons (ramsløk) at its northernmost natural site at Ramslia in Nord Trøndelag (on the other side of Trondheimsfjord from my place). Neverthless, it was a great day out with one of my ex-OCEANOR work colleagues Jarle Tronstad who owns an old mountain farm in the area!
Big surprise to find these in the garden today…one of the few deadly plants in my garden…they’ve been here for years, but I’ve never seen them in flower this late (or is it early?). Autumn crocus (tidløs) is a confusion species for ramsons (ramsløk)…