The Backyard Larder

A place to explore and buy perennial vegetables and other food plants.

The Backyard Larder Blog

Exploring the possibilities of the perennial vegetable garden.

Replenishing the Sea Beet

Self-seeded sea beet

Sea beet plants (Beta vulgaris ssp. maritima). A reliable source of great-tasting succulent leaves throughout most of the year. Most excellent perennial vegetable! Well-established now – I think these are four years old. Look at that thick stem! These plants were grown from seed I gathered on Anglesey. Drawing on this study which compared the life span of […]

The Perennial Potato Onion

In the South Devon and Botanical Society May Show of 1851 you could win a prize of one shilling and sixpence for the ‘best dish of potato onions’. I’m not sure I’d win any prizes for mine but they have in fact done better this year than previously, thanks to further additions of compost to the […]

Daylily fritters.

Daylily buds

Daylily buds… battered….. They were dipped in a batter made from 60g white flour, 1tsp baking powder, 120 ml beer and a pinch of salt, and deep-fried. Delicious dipped in ginger soy sauce (mix together 60ml soy sauce, 60ml water, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger, 1/4 tsp crushed […]

Blanching perennial cardoons

Young cardoon

The mighty cardoon; prized ‘architectural’ plant, top-notch bee plant but also a tasty edible (especially the fleshy mid-rib and stalks of the leaves). It is a perennial plant, often, but not always, surviving a British winter. Almost everything you read tells you that cardoon plants must be blanched (by either earthing up or wrapping in […]

Preserving globe artichokes in oil

Globe artichoke

I’ve learnt that in southern Italy globe artichokes are often preserved in olive oil. The idea appealed to me (imagine adding them to pizzas and stews or eating them puréed on toast in the middle of winter). I picked some young artichokes to try. This is just a very quick post to say, “hey, you can […]

Buck’s Horn Plantain

Buck's horn plantain

Yesterday I made a salad with buck’s horn plantain (Plantago coronopus, also know in Italy as ‘minutina’ or ‘erba stella’ (the latter seems to translate as star herb or star grass, and I’ve also seen it named ‘star-of-the-earth’). It has sweetish, nutty flavour and is quite mild. I mixed it here with spicy wild rocket leaves, […]

Chives

Chives – a perennial vegetable? When I first started selling perennial vegetables I pondered whether I could count chives as one. (I know ‘edibles’ is a handier term really, as it avoids not very meaningful distinctions between vegetables and herbs  – and dafter ones about whether to categorize tomatoes as vegetables or fruit! But I’ve stuck […]

Nine Star Perennial Broccoli

Nine Star perennial broccoli is a plant that has been on the perennial vegetable scene for many years, less well-known than asparagus and globe artichokes, but, like Good King Henry, appearing from time to time in general vegetable gardening books such as Hessayon’s The Vegetable and Herb Expert. It looks like this… This is my plant, […]

Hop Shoots for Lunch

When did that happen! – the hop shoots have been racing up the wall of our backyard. I decided to sample some before they got tougher and hop shoots for lunch escaped me for another year. There seem to be shoots of all different lengths. The shoots tips are tender – I cut mine about […]

Review 2017

It’s almost the end of March, the perennial vegetables and herbs are leafing up in the garden and it’s time for The Backyard Larder Blog’s fourth review. I’m feeling more like a seasoned perennial vegetable gardener now. Not that there isn’t a long way to go – lots to learn to keep all my plants in […]