30/05/2011

Stewed angelica

Angelica (Angelica archangelica) is the most highly regarded medicinal plant growing in Iceland, considered more potent than even yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and Iceland moss (Cetraria islandica). It has been used to fight infections (bacterial, fungal and viral), as a local anaesthetic, to strengthen the immune system and as an aid to digestion and recent research has show it to be effective against cancer cells.

Abroad it is used to flavour alcoholic drinks such as Bénédictine , Chartreuse, Vermouth and Dubonnet, and locally the root is used to flavour schnapps (Hvannarótarbrennivín). As a medicine it is most often made into a tisane or a tincture, using leaves, root or seeds. It is also a food plant. Here is one recipe:

Take fresh, young angelica stalks, peel off the outer layer and wash the stalks in cold water. Cut away any spots. Pour hot water over the stalks, then cook them in salted water until they are soft. Drain carefully, and serve with whipped butter. May also be stirred into white sauce and served as a side dish (the recipe book doesn’t say what with).

Disclaimer: I have’t tried it, but if I do I will report back.

P.S. Take a look at the comment below - there are instructions for angelica jam in there that sounds heavenly.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've been making angelica jam at my café in Reykjavík and it's been really popular, especially in Hjónabandssæla. Made it with a kilo of angelica and just under a kilo of raw sugar. Simply cut the angelica tiny, boil it until tender, drain and refill saucepan with fresh, cold water, leave overnight, then boil again with the sugar until a jam consistency is achieved. Looks kind of like green rhubarb jam. Delish! :-)

Rob Lilley said...

To make the jam, do you only use the stalks, or also the heads as well?

Rob Lilley said...

To make the jam, do you use stalks only, or the flowers too?

Bibliophile said...

She doesn't mention which parts are used, but I would say it's probably just the stalks that are used.