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