Tag: niche

Guide to spring vegetables. Known and niche – Italian Cuisine


Follow the natural rhythm of the seasons, wise words. It is something that helps you feel good and feel in harmony with the earth. And if the season we are talking about is spring, the task is even more accessible and enjoyable. The vegetables that are found in the garden in spring are beets, asparagus, artichokes, green beans and legumes, spinach. And then any kind of salad, watercress, radishes is sage. But also vegetables less known as the Jerusalem artichokes, also called Jerusalem artichoke, or the so-called friars beards, otherwise called agretti (but they have an infinity of names and nicknames).

172060The usual unknown
Returning to our garden on topinambur, among those listed the most niche one, is conquering more and more palates, but not everyone knows it well. It is a tuber that can be eaten either raw or cooked, baked, pan-fried, or fried. In essence it is a low-calorie alternative to potatoes. As for the agretti instead (otherwise also called Negus beard, monks' mustard, roscano or lischi) it should be noted that these are the young thread-like leaves of a plant called Salsola soda and that grow spontaneously in spring throughout the Mediterranean. They are widely used in the kosher gastronomic tradition, in Shabbat dinners.

The timeless
Another spring must are the turnip tops, combined in the common imagination with orecchiette, but important above all as allies of our organism, thanks to a purifying, antioxidant and detoxifying action that allows an effective prevention of cardiovascular diseases and neoplasms. Last but not least let's not forget that spring is the season of gods peas and the Fava beans, like picnics and tables with beans and salami often remind us, marking a memorable moment of the year. In this regard it is necessary to mention also the jackdaws, of the fava family, but with a particularity that makes them unique and very usable: the jackdaws they are an entirely edible fruit and they eat everything, both the seeds and the pod. Raw in salads or as an appetizer, stewed in butter, whole or in pieces, boiled and seasoned with oil and lemon or passed in butter: they should be the most versatile and accessible legume record (thanks also to this peculiarity).

From fruit to fish
Seasonality obviously does not only concern vegetables and when it comes to cooking our marzolini vegetables let's remember a season combination. The fruit par excellence are the strawberries, excellent on every dessert, but also simple and pure or even in the most daring combinations. Finally we must not forget that even the fish has its seasonality. This is the time of horse mackerel, of the mackerel, of the gurnard, of the sea ​​bass, of the bream, of the Pompano, of the bonito he was born in sea ​​bream they are the Mediterranean species that must be purchased.

172072Password word salad
Finally, Spring is the season for vegetable gardens, which for connoisseurs are much more than a side dish. Except for very few species, from March onwards we find the largest variety of salad imaginable. From the chicory, raw sublime with vinaigrette, to the radicchio, from the chioggia with its crunchy and ample leaves to the iceberg only the embarrassment of the choice remains and the moral duty to know all the possible variations.

Emanuela Di Pasqua,
12 March 2019

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