Eating the ornamentals...

27 December, 2012

Now while I do like to mix the edible and ornamental plants in my garden, I had very firm lines around what was for eating and what was for looking pretty.

Note the 'had' in that sentence.

'Cos today I crossed the boundary. I ate from the non-edibles. Don't get me wrong. I haven't started chewing down on the agapanthus or taking bites out of the magnolia. I've been nibbling on nigella. (My god that sounds so wrong. Nigella seeds! Seeds!)

A little while back I posted a pic of some garden produce in which I had lovingly placed a few sprigs of nigella flowers, but had made a note they were strictly for prettyfication and I was not planning on eating them. Oh how wrong I was. Both Louise and Tracy commented that nigella seeds were edible, and I thereby made a note-to-self to harvest some seeds for the kitchen.

So that's what I did today.

I picked myself a nice basketful of dried nigella seedheads from the garden.


They looked nice and full of seeds.


Then I crushed them to smithereens in my thermomix. (So many uses!)


Although quite a few had fallen out of their own accord.


I then roughly sifted the seedhead bits and seeds with a collander to get out the biggest bits.


And was left with this. Not exactly what I had in mind for the kitchen.


So I winnowed the seeds. Thank goodness for a nice soft breeze outside. (I tried to get an action shot of me pouring from one bowl into the other with the non-seed bits floating delicately off in the breeze, but photographing with one hand and pouring with the other is beyond my capabilities.)

But I ended up with a nice lot of pure seed to use for kitchen-y things. And so I just had to make some bread so that I could top it with nigella seeds. (Bread also courtesy of the thermomix. The non-nigella'd ones have bits of rosemary through it; so gorgeous!)


So there you have it. One jar of nigella seeds.


Thanks Louise and Tracy for the tips! I love getting something new out of the garden.

12 comments:

  1. I love eating the pretties. violas, nasturtiums and others and love novella seeds. they have a very distinct flavour and are great in bread. your bread looks lovely.

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    1. Yes, so many pretty edible things. Must make better use of them!

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  2. I collect my nigella seeds too. Apparently they are regularly eaten in India, along with their cousins, black cumin, nigella sativa. I put mine in naan bread. Yum. Your bread rolls look divinely delish.

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    1. Ahh, so they are related. I wondered that. And naan bread sounds great, I will have to give that a go too.

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  3. Bev from foodnstuff uses her thermomix to extract all sorts of seeds from their pods for her food forest.
    I'm going to put rosemary through some bread today... thanks for the idea!
    Frogdancer

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    1. So many good uses! I will be giving it a go with some brassica seeds that I picked and am waiting to dry enough to store. I hope you like the rosemary; it needs quite a lot but tastes fabulous. Especially with thermomix butter.

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  4. As Frogdancer says, I've done that with seed pods too. Isn't the Thermomix great! I must get some Nigella growing. Thanks for the tip. I grow poppies for the seed, too.

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    1. It is tops! I wish I'd bought one years ago! What speed do you use for crushing seed pods? I tried reverse on about 4-6 for about 5secs... and poppies, now there's an idea! Cheers!

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  5. In Indian recipes they are often refered to as Kalonji, which I think is the Hindi/Urdu name for them and are used in the panch phoran spice mix. Personally I like them with spicy potatoes in particular. I'd never thought to grow my own though - I do like the idea very much.

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    1. Wow, you must love your indian food! Hmmm, spicy potatoes, I can see that working. Thanks for the idea! So many delicious uses...

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  6. Yum I never put 'love-in-the-mist' into the same category as nigella seeds. Stupid now that I think about it. I love putting them on top of some very chessey biscuits that I make. Perhaps it is time for me to grow some as well?

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    1. It is so easy! I put in a few packets of seed a few years back and they just self seed now; I don't have to do a thing!

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