Myrrhis odorata. Oh happiness! Sweet cicely has a beautiful sweet scent of licorice, aniseed, sweetness and joy. I love how it grows, smells and tastes. To begin with it has big, laciniated leaves that when young and tender are light green and then become darker as they grow. As summer progresses they can get up to 150 cm tall. Seet cicely is generous and sprouts new leaves the whole season, I sometimes harvest it until November!
The whole plant is edible, root, stem, leaves, flowers and fruits. The fresh leaves taste best raw. Heat makes their flavor disappear.
You recognize them by the scent, the large leaves that has a white marking towards the stem. They remind a bit of Queen Anne’s Lace but they are bigger, more dense and, of course, the scent.
Sweet Cicely is currently in bloom in Stockholm where I live, despite the unusually cold May. This to me is a sign that summer IS on it’s way, very hopeful. The flower looks like a large snowflake and is beautiful to sprinkle over food.
Sweet Cicely goes great with rhubarb. A great, easy and delicious dessert is made from rhubarb, Sweet Cicely leaves and flowers:
Chop rhubarb and put in a hot skillet with lots of butter. After a few minutes, while still “al dente”, add brown sugar. Put on a plate, sprinkle with the greens and serve with whipped cream. So damn good.
A calming infusion is made from Sweet Cicely leaves and / or flowers. Just pur hot water over the leaves in a teapot. Enjoy warm or cold.
If you’re a more ambitious chef than I am I think you should try making ice cream or sorbet from this sweet green. Tastes great with raspberries.
The flowers are transformed to green, oblong fruits. They are delicious. Eat them directly as a natural candy or put them in the freezer and enjoy them during winter.
It was said in the Middle ages that Sweet Cicely cured melancholy, so if ever you feel low, eat it!
All best, Lisen