Subscribe via RSS

How to use peas? Here are their virtues – Italian Cuisine


May, June, July, August and almost almost even September, plus April for the former if spring is early: these are the months in which to harvest the fresh peas and find them in the fruit and vegetable stalls. In particular, late spring is their natural harvesting period in Italy: peas in fact – for those who have a piece of land in which to try their hand – are planted in early spring and after less than two months the garden offers its fruits, ready to feed us. In the other months of the year, they remain excellent to taste even frozen foods: this is why peas become a useful food 12 months a year.

Substantial, inviting, simple and versatile, the fresh peas protagonists of this season are brought to the table between appetizers, side dishes, first courses. But you really know all of them secrets and their properties? The first, not trivial, is that peas I'm not a vegetable. It is instead a legume, and this feature makes them a great source of energy: legumes are now considered a real superfood. And in fact the peas, when combined with cereals like rice – the famous "risi e bisi"! – return one to the organism protein mixture of comparable value to that of animal proteins.

They are in fact composed of carbohydrates (14 grams per 100), fiber, protein, and even vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium. They strengthen the body due to the high presence of vitamin C and fortunately they do not contain cholesterol.

Their origin it comes from far away: from Mesopotamia, and then spread in the diet of Greeks and Romans reaching us. The pea fruit is composed of the pod, which hides and protects up to 12 seeds, which is the edible part we know. There are many species and varieties, used according to the type of consumption for which the product is intended (drying, canning, fresh etc).

The taste it is quite inviting: slightly sweet, it is ideal for convincing children to vary foods, it has a caloric content to keep under control in case of low-calorie dietary regimes (80 calories per 100 grams) but not excessively high, it provides essential nutrients to fuel our body. Plus, they give a fort sense of satiety, an interesting element for those who are thinking about getting into shape and find it hard to resist at the table.

Caution in cases of low-content diets carbohydrates, not to be confused with vegetables: in this case consumption must be limited. The second risk is that of those suffering from allergies or favismo: in the latter case the consumption of peas, such as broad beans and verbena, is prohibited.

Once purchased fresh, and after having patiently shelled them from their pods, here they are ready for their best quality: the taste! Remember, in the purchase, to choose those from smaller dimensions if you love them tender and sweeter, and once purchased, it is good not to keep them more than a day in fridge.

A taste note: peas, the first, freshly picked, very fine and very tender, I'm really delicious eaten raw. Their sweetness is incomparable! Fantastic if paired with cheeses not too seasoned, such as pecorino primosale or feta and also cold cuts such as prosciutto (both cooked and raw) and salami. Like all foods, they retain their nutritional properties intact. Peas though they also contain anti-digestive factors, which are destroyed during cooking. This does not mean that you cannot eat them raw, but that you have to do it without exaggerating in quantity. Who already has digestion problems should instead to avoid raw consumption – and even cooked eat them preferably in the form of purée. For all others, the consumption of cooked peas is recommended at will: they are real bowel scavengers, which free from waste.

Finally, here are the first tips for use, starting with appetizers: quiche, perhaps with bacon, is a good choice, but also flans, or meatballs with feta. Arriving at first dishes, here they are protagonists of velvety creams, soups, or as a condiment for pasta dishes (look at this recipe with spicy salami!). And again, in the second: curious at the top of the Genoese, but also with fish, in the tortilla. The side dish it is soon done: it will be enough to make them jump in the pan garnishing them at will … while for the experimenters, here is the additional idea: to make them protagonists of a dessert like madeleine with baby peas, taking advantage of the sweet taste of freshly picked peas to commit a small sin of gluttony.

Eva Perasso
May 2017
updated in March 2019
from Aurora Quinto

DISCOVER THE COOKING COURSES SALT & PEPE

Rocket, bitter salad with many virtues that conquers everyone – Italian Cuisine


Until the 1980s it was one vegetable humble and unpretentious. Then it became "Trendy" and soon it became so ubiquitous as to transform the "Arugula" in an emblem of Italian cuisine known throughout the world. "Resized" excesses of some years ago, when there was no dish in which it was not inserted, today the rocket salad still remains one of the most popular "salads", so much so that every year the Italian spend over 3 million euros to buy it. And the first rocket could soon arrive protected from the EU: it is the one cultivated in the plain of the Sele who requested the PGI (Protected Geographical Indication). From this area of ​​Salerno comes the 73% of all the rocket produced in Italy: 400 thousand tons per year, purchased from over 18 million of consumers and 40% destined for theexports. To confirm that the "arugula" also likes out of theItaly.

The bitter that conquers
But why is rocket so successful? For many reasons. The first is the flavor: its bitter note gives a decisive touch to the "usual" mixed salads, manages to "degrease" meat dishes (as shown by a great classic such as bresaola with rocket and grain), contrasts in a very pleasant way the sweetness of the fresh cheeses (an example: the piadina with stracchino or squacquerone and rocket), and it ennobles even the simplest of Capri or pizzas. Beyond taste, there are many others good reasons to choose the rocket. Like the environmental ones: compared to others crops, requires less water and fewer treatments in the field. And also on the front nutritional offers many benefits.

Many virtues (often unknown)
If the science today it has not yet confirmed those effects aphrodisiacs that they attributed the ancients, however it brought to light other properties of the rocket. Consuming this salad with a slightly taste spicy many benefits are obtained: being rich in minerals, of vitamins and di fibers, has a diuretic, mineralizing, anti-aging and detoxifying effect. Between vitamins stand out TO, precious for the health of the eyes, and the C, which boosts the immune system and is antioxidant. This last effect is enhanced by the presence of chlorophyll, which fights free radicals, in addition to favoring the production of Red blood cells. Instead among the minerals stands the potassium : how many know that a pound of rocket contains more than the same amount of banana (470 and 350 mg respectively)? The rocket can even contain twice as much footballof milk, but the high presence of phytates reduces its absorption, making it less available for l'body . In any case it can be considered an aid to reach the daily doserecommended of this important mineral. Like all vegetables with taste bitter, also the rocket is beneficial for the liver : favors the release of a greater quantity of bile and facilitates the elimination of salts that could determine obstructions or liver fatigue. The effect detoxalso extends to the intestine: being rich in a prebiotic fiber, theinulin, counteracts the proliferation of bad bacteria that favor, even the increase of weight. All with very few calories : only 28 per ounce.

A wild ingredient (even in a sweet version)
Visas i benefitsof the rocket, it is worth consuming more often . Which is not at all difficult (or unpleasant) since it is an ingredient jolly which can be added to many recipes, from salads to pasta or spelled, with sandwiches. It is very pleasant combined with vegetables and sweet tubers, like carrots, peas and potatoes. Freshly cooked it is perfect on carpaccio and salads, strips of meator fish, and is enhanced by a lemon and pepper vinaigrette White , or with a sauce of yogurt and garlic. The rocket can also be used as a basis for an unusual pesto and for detox smoothies. Try the centrifuged obtained with 2 handfuls of rocket, 2 failures of shoots of wheat and two oranges. To increase its effects benefits on the line and on the intestine the rocket is consumed along with foods rich in probiotics like fermented milks: so the number of bacteria increases "Good" and its effectiveness is strengthened. A fresh and original idea? There fruit saladof watermelon and rocket to be seasoned with lemon, mint and a few drops of balsamic vinegar.

Manuela Soressi
March 2019

The spelled because it's good? Here are all the virtues that this ancient cereal has – Italian Cuisine


Ideal for preparing biscuits, desserts and savory dough. This cereal is versatile in the kitchen. In addition, it provides many fibers and minerals, allies of the line and health. Discover all the precious properties

There spelled, also called great spelled, is a very old spelled variety. Versatile in the kitchen, this cereal lends itself to the preparation of numerous recipes. Its flakes, for example, can be used to prepare muesli and porridge for breakfast. Its flour is instead suitable for preparing sweet and savory dough, while its beans can be used in soups, soups and salads. Although it contains gluten and consequently is not suitable for those suffering from intolerances, this cereal is ideal for changing daily menus. It has a very particular taste similar to toasted hazelnuts. It also has the great advantage of being rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, useful for the proper functioning of the body. With the help of Dr. Valentina Schirò, nutritionist biologist specializing in nutrition sciences, let's see what her nutritional properties are and why it is better to use spelled in the kitchen.

She is a friend of the line

"The spelta contains many fibers that promote intestinal regularity and have an excellent satiating power. They reduce the absorption of sugars in the blood, preventing blood sugar fluctuations, which are responsible for hunger attacks. Some fibers of which spelled is rich, moreover, have a prebiotic action: they nourish the good bacteria that populate the intestine and favor health, helping to maintain the weight, explains the nutritionist Valentina Schirò.

It is excellent for fighting tiredness and a bad mood

«Spelled gives a great variety of B vitamins, essential for obtaining energy and combating fatigue. In addition, it provides tryptophan, an amino acid precursor of serotonin, the hormone of good humor. This cereal then ensures high amounts of mineral salts, including phosphorus and magnesium, useful to support the proper functioning of the nervous system ".

Would you like to know more? Discover in the gallery all the other benefits of spelled