Monday, March 22, 2010

Harvest Monday - Taste Test Take II

This San Michele cabbage head breezed through our unusually mild winter. I could harvest it but I think I'll let it, and its friends make seeds.

Apparently, this unseasonable spring decided to take a U-turn as soon as the official spring date had passed so after today's possible high of 9C, we are nose diving into forcasts that use the words: Freezing Rain, Possible Flurries and Double Subzero Celcius temperatures. I know spring will return but as I will have to wait, I am going to go outside and see what salad materials I can harvest from the still unfrozen ground.

Orach sprouts up early.

I have baby nodding onions (Allium cernuum) in the ground and decided to take a nibble today. At first, I thought, not much of a strong taste but then a gentle, mild quite pleasant oniony flavour developed after a couple of chews.

Pale yellow crocus half open on this partly cloudy day.

Also in the front garden were crocuses and violas a-bloom. Among them were various bellflowers. I tried two. The first was a small, yellow leafed variety which was not bad but as you can see it would take quite a bit to bulk up a salad and the common Campanula persicifolia (I believe). At first, I thought "tastes green, like grass" but really it was not bad and there was a fair amount of leaf available. Ox-eye daisy never really impresses me when it comes to green so I designate it 'pot herb' until I experiment more. The leaf buds are sometimes pickled as a caper substitute.

Zebra mallow edible but palatable?

After various grassy greens, I popped some Zebra Mallow - Malva sylvestris - into my mouth and though I find its texture a bit tough (preferring the salad version 'curly mallow'), it had a very pleasing sweetness. Oregano was quite good raw or maybe it was in comparison. I was also happy to see that my Celeriac made it through the winter. The early greens shooting up were very yummy, tasting just like the swollen root/stem.

Young salsify sending up grass thin leaves.

I also nibbled on some salsify - Tragopogon porrifolius - which is called 'oyster root' as is Scorzonera. It's leaves are thin, almost grasslike but they are not hairy like its perennial namesake and so the lettucy flavour could be better appreciated. Too bad it didn't produce more abundant spring shoots.

And now I'm going to hide indoor until spring reappears and its pea planting time.


Plants for a Future - Bellflowers
Pickled Ox-eye Daisy buds from Forbes Wild Food


Daphne said...

I didn't know you could eat oxeyed daisies. I have them growing as weeds near the garden. I love them so let them grow, but pick all the flowers so they won't seed themselves farther. I do have one that is in my herb garden though so I guess it seeded itself in an appropriate spot.

Anonymous said...

It is spring, but it doesn’t feel like it. Same weather is here. Well, the good thing is that can only get better...

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

I like violas leaves and malva leaves in salad.

I have fresh thyme and oregano available again!

Dissappointing weather, eh? Here too. My seedlings are in the sun on the deck today but will have to come back in before late this evening.

Spring, spring, where are you??

villager said...

The cabbage looks amazing! None of ours made it through the winter.

Sounds like spring is being fickle there.

Thomas said...

It sounds like you had an even milder winter than we had. I always assume that our northern neighbors always have it worse than we do.

I didn't know you could eat exeyed daisies either.

Mac said...

Ah~~~signs of Spring, happiness is seeing sprouts poking through the frigid cold cold soil.
The cabbage is beautiful.

Stefaneener said...

It's heading into the high 70s and low 80s here, I think. Way too warm. I don't want your freezes, but I would like some normality.

Love your adventuresome tasting, and here's to you thawing completely out.

Robert said...

You sound as though you've been getting the opposite weather to the UK. First the coldest winter for 30 years, then a sudden warm-up and mild spring weather for the last couple of weeks.