Bitter baccalao: roots and greens

No, I’m not vegan and have never been, I’ve been lactovegetarian with the occasional wild fish over 40 years. We always have some Norwegian dried cod (baccalao) at the ready in our cool larder. The usual way to make the dish baccalao here is to hydrate the fish for a couple of days and then layer potatoes, bulb onions, fish,  tomatoes, garlic with olive oil, pepper and chili in large saucepan. I’ve always added seasonal greens too and often use green onions of various types instead of bulb onion.  
Last night, we used the last of the potatoes from the cellar and as there weren’t many also used root chicory (di Sancino: an edible rooted variety that produces well here) and the last yacon roots, all still in perfect condition kept in the cellar in dryish leaves all winter! We also used a good bunch of nettles, tops of giant bellflower (Campanula latifolia) and sweet cicely (Myrrhis odorata) tops including the flowers. For the onions, sand leek (Allium scorodoprasum) and victory onion (Allium victorialis) were in perfect condition (beginning to flower). 
The verdict on our first bitter baccalao? Delicious, but probably not for everyone!

Wietse’s Onion Soup with Udos, Hosta, Ostrich Ferns, Sea Kale and Ramsons

The best of spring in one sitting. In celebration of the country Norway, we yesterday (17th May) harvested a small selection of the best blanched perennial vegetables (apart from the ostrich fern which had to be harvested or it would have been too late). This included three udo species (Aralia cordata, Aralia californica and Aralia racemosa), sea kale (Crambe maritima), Hosta “Big Daddy” together with delicious sweet blanched ramsons (Allium ursinum) . They were all eaten raw (apart from the fern which was steamed for 10 minutes) with a Japanese dipping sauce – olive oil (should have been sesame), tamari (soy sauce) and roasted sesame seeds. These accompanied an onion soup prepared with half of the leaves from one plant of Wietses Onion, a vigorous hybrid of Allium pskemense and Allium fistulosum!
It doesn’t get much better than this!  More information with the pictures:



Some odds and ends this week in Malvik

  1. The best of vegetables ready to harvest this week: blanched sea kale (Crambe maritima), blanched lovage (Levisticum officinale) and nettles (Urtica dioica)! Delicious.
  2. IT’S DANDINOODLE TIME HERE IN MALVIK: one of the year’s many highlights!
    This is by far my earliest dandelion to come into growth in March. It was sent to me as seed from the Alps in Switzerland, following a talk I gave there and was supposed to be similar to the moss-leaved dandelion but the leaves weren’t similar at all. These are from one plant! I’m trying to fine out which species it is…

    3. Allium paradoxum var paradoxum isn’t a plant you’ll want in your garden as this form has bulbils which can spread invasively. I was sent this 20 years ago from a garden in Sweden as Allium triquetrum but it wasn’t that one. I never considered either of these invasive Alliums as hardy enough to be a problem here and this one has slowly colonised the space around my oldest Hablitzia tamnoides. With warmer winters I have started more aggressive harvesting of this one.I now harvest both the young leaves, the tops, in particular the bulbils to keep it under control. They are delicious both raw in mixed salads and cooked.

Around the World in 80 Mac-Cheese

Many thanks to all who sent birthday wishes as I transitioned to become a bonafide pensioner ❤
As usual, my celebration dinner was a green macaroni cheese (https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?s=macaroni), this year an Around the World in 80 Mac-Cheese with 80 different perennial greens harvested from the garden, some for the first time!

Spring wouldn’t be spring without Hablitzia

I’m in Habby Blitz (bliss) once again and Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach / Stjernemelde / Nordens spinat) is the most important vegetable once again. With some 30 plants (and increasing)  there¨’s more than enough to harvest. Here’s a few pictures from an area on very shallow soil (10-20cm) under the shade of a large birch tree where it thrives. And it’s now 20 years since I planted my first!

Cellar and Garden Greens: 6th April 2022

The greens that went into last night’s wholegrain spelt quiche are listed below the picture!
CELLAR: Dystaenia takesimana shoots; Forced hogweed (bjørnekjeks) shoots (Heracleum spp.); Forced Taraxacum (dandelion / løvetann); nederst til høyre: Witloof chicory (sikkori); øverst til høyre: swiss chard (mangold)
GARDEN: Various hybrid onions (Allium senescens x nutans) and Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach / stjernemelde)


Snow onions


Various Allium species are the hardiest of edible plants either staying green all winter (e.g., Allium cernuum and Allium carinatum) or sprouting very early and able to withstand some frost. With a minimum forecast of -6C tomorrow after a very mild March, it will be interesting to see whether any of these early shooters are damaged. Here are a selection of pictures of Alliums and other early spring shoots in this weeks snow.

March soba greens

Today it reached an unusually warm 16C here which encouraged the first bumble bees and honey bees out! The picture shows the greens (and whites) used in tonight’s soba (buckwheat noodle) stir-fry:
Hogweed (Heracleum spp.) shoots (far left, from the cellar); top row: Dystaenia takesimana (outside), chicons (chicory shoots; cellar), horseradish shoots (cellar), garlic and Allium scorodoprasum shoots (outside), Allium cernuum shoots (outside); Below from L to R: Dandelion (Taraxacum) shoots from the cellar, ground elder (Aegopodium podograria) shoots (outside), lesser celandine (Ficaria verna), wild buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum) seed sprouts (living room), nettle shoots (Urtica dioica), hedge mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and (bottom right) Hablitzia tamnoides shoots. 

Record warmth and record early shoots

With record temperatures recorded in this area at the moment after a mild winter when all the cold spells coincided with good snow cover means that the soil was hardly frozen all winter and garlic shoots had appeared a few days ago at least two weeks earlier than I’ve recorded before and I also found the first ground elder (skvallerkål) shoots – welcome back my friend and, be warned, I will be eating you until the autumn!
It’s the marbled purple stripe garlic varieties that I grow that appear first: Aleksandra, Estonian Red, German Hardneck and Valdres!

The harbinger of the season of plenty: ground elder (skvallerkål), I LOVE YOU!
I noticed Aleksandra garlic shoots on 13th March!
This is a group of two year old garlic which were started from bulbils
Garlic being grown on an two year cycle can potentially give bigger total yield than if harvested every year. In the second year as shown here each clove has germinated and will produce a clump of garlics by autumn!




Winter salad record: 5 years after

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

Perennial vegetables, Edimentals (plants that are edible and ornamental) and other goings on in The Edible Garden