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Alexander (herb)

Fruit and Vegetables

(Or ellicksander)

An umbeliferous plant Smyrnium olusatrum related to the carrot, with distinctive green florets. Also known as Horse Parsley or Black Lovage, the stems were used like celery, either raw or boiled, the young shoots and tops boiled, raw or pickled with vinegar, the roots as an alternative to parsnip.

Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) M69 Roundabout, Sapcote
Image: http://www.naturespot.org.uk

Listing "Herbes and rootes for sallets and sauce", Thomas Tusser's 'One Hundred Points of Good Husbandry', published in 1557, gives first; "Alexanders, at all times." By Mrs.B's time (1861) alexander "is used in this country in the same way in which celery is. It is a native of Great Britain, and is found in its wild state near the seacoast ... its cultivation is now almost entirely abandoned."

Original Receipt in 'The Accomplisht Cook' by Robert May, 1660 (Robert May 1660);

Ellicksander Pottage.
Chop ellicksanders and oatmeal together, being picked and washed, then set on a pipkin with fair water, and when it boils, put in your herbs, oatmeal, and salt, boil it on a soft fire, and make it not too thick, being almost boil'd put in some butter.

Alexander Pottage
Image: Alex Bray...

See: Alexander Salad

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