Xmas dinner in Malvik has been nut roast and roasted roots every year since 1984! This year there were 27 different roots: parsnip, 15 different varieties of potato, bulb onions, Tigridia (cacomitl), wapato (Sagittaria), carrot, beetroot, oca (red and yellow), Madeira vine (Anredera cordifolia), yacon (Polymnia), garlic (Allium sativum), Dioscorea polystachya (Chinese yam) and chicory root (at the top). The nut roast was made from ground walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds with grated carrots, onion and beetroot with garlic, golpar (Heracleum seed spice), egg, salt, pepper and chili, bedecked with buckwheat groats (home grown by a friend in Czechoslovakia), Himalayan balsam seed, caraway, dill and alpine bistort bulbils (Polygonum viviparum).
To my surprise, I noticed today that both yacon (Polymnia sonchifolia) and Madeira Vine (Anredera cordifolia) have managed to flower outside in the garden before I bring them inside for the winter just before the first frost. I’m surprised as the autumn has been colder than normal…maybe this is rather a consequence of the record warmth in June.
Harvested roots of Jack-go-to-bed-by-noon (Tragopogon pratensis), an introduced weed in my garden. It is related to salsify and scorzonera – I eat the roots and force a few for early spring greens; Madeira vine is in the Basellaceae and isn’t everybody’s cup-of-tea as they are rather mucilaginous – they can also be forced in winter for the equally mucilaginous greens! I LIKE THEM, but always mixed with other veg. Finally, I harvested my long neglected chorogi which were surprisingly good yielding despite the fact that they were completely overgrown by weeds..
All are now stored in the cellar.
I have Malabar spinach (also known as Ceylon spinach or just Basella), a vigorous climbing spinach which isn’t hardy outside here, but grows very well and sets seed every years in an unheated bedroom, this year in my bedroom…should I be worried it might strangle me in its sleep?
It’s in the Basellaceae alongside Madeira Vine (Anredera cordifolia) and Ulluco (Ullucus tuberosus), both of which have both edible tubers and leaves… I actually included all 3 of these in Xmas dinner one year (picture below) :)
Malabar spinach can be harvested here – I usually take a few leaves and mix with other greens – from August right into the depths of winter, a great winter leafy green house plant! This year I have both green (Basella alba) and red-stemmed (Basella alba “Rubra”) varieties growing alongside each other…
I presume that Malabar is the area of southern India where it’s a popular vegetable and I look forward to making Malabar bhaji next time I make an Indian meal!