Herbs in the kitchen

Nettle

Urtica dioica

Ortica

It is a very common plant, already in the distance you can recognize its smell.
It is used in various recipes as well as a tranquilizer.

Carlina

Carlina acaulis

carlina

It is spread from the valleys to the mountains up to 1800m on sea level. After removing the thorny leaves cover remains the fleshy edible part, which is consumed raw seasoned with oil.

The flower head, which in spring is separated from the thorny part, was often held at the doors of the huts to forecast the weather; if the corolla is open it means good weather, if the weather turns bad it is closed.

Star of bethehlem (with yellowish flowers)

Ornithogalum pyrenaicum

Latte di gallina

Sweet and pleasant taste. The inflorescence is used in omelets.

Crepis taraxicifolia

Crepis taraxicifolia

Radichiella

It grows in fields and around villages. Usually it is boiled and then seasoned with olive oil and vinegar or fried in a pan with butter and onion.

Stiniking lizard

Aposeris foetida

lucertolina-fetida

Herbaceous plant that grows in the woods. It was the radicchio of the herdsmen and it is consumed seasoned.

Route of the wall

Asplenium ruta-muraria

ruta-muraria

type of fern that grows on the walls and in the rocks.

It is used to prepare the “Frègole”, typical kind of pasta. Ancient recipe to prepare a traditional breakfast, typical of the village of Erto.

Good henry farinello

Chenopodium bonus-henricus

It is a herbaceous plant widespread in the mountains especially near the huts or in caves.

The leaves can be eaten seasoned or fried in a pan.

Blueberry

Vaccinium myrtillus

mirtillo

Once widely spread also close to inhabited areas, today due to climatic changes, its distribution has decreased so much that you can find it only at higher altitudes. The berries were collected and eaten fresh.

Large bittercress

bitter cardamine

billeri-amaro

Herbaceous plant that grows near streams’ springs or banks, it is used to flavor salads.

Primula odorata

primula veris

Herbaceous plant, with anise flavor, that grows in meadows. In small doses it is used in herbs mixtures.

Shepherd’s purse

Capsella bursa-pastoris

borsa-del-pastore

Plant that grows near ​inhabited places. Eaten seasoned or in the mixture of cleansing herbs.

Barberry

Sonchus oleraceus

crespino

Herbaceous plant that grows near inhabited areas. It is used for its purifying features.

Meadow sage

Salvia pratensis

Herbaceous plant that grows in meadows and pastures.

It is used as a purifier in small doses because of its strong flavor. Peculiar and unmistakable blue-purple flowers.

Bitter  dock

Rumex obtusifolius

Romice

Herb used for its cleansing effect.

Cleavers

Galium aparine

Galium_aparine
Herbaceous plant that grows close to villages and used as a purifier.

Goatsbear

Tragopogon orientalis

Tragopogon-pratensis-orientalis

Herbaceous plant that grows in the meadows.
It can also be consumed raw or used as a purifier.

Common dandelion

Taraxacum officinale


Common plant in the meadows. Harvested fresh immediately after the melting of snow and seasoned with fried lard and vinegar.
During spring it was then boiled and eaten with oil and vinegar together with the boiled roots.

Black locust

Robinia pseudoacacia

Arboreal plant, growing close to villages. The bunch is used to make fritters.

Bubbolini o Stringoli

Silene vulgaris

Herb widespread in the meadows. The shoots are boiled and consumed in a pan with butter and onion, or are used with eggs to make omelets.
The flowers put between thumb and forefinger and then crushed give a loud pop, hence the name S’ciopetine, one of the many children’s games of yesteryear.
Its growth is optimal in abandoned meadows.

Sorrel

Rumex acetosa

rumex-acetosa

It is a perennial herb in the family Polygonaceae. It is common in mowed fields and often used in salads to add flavor.

Lamb’s quarters

Chenopodium album


Very common in the fields. It has a floury coating on the leaves and on the stem. It is eaten like spinach.

White campion

Silene alba

silene-bianca

Used in risotto and widespread on the whole territory.

Common poppy

Papaver rhoeas

Plant imported and used in the nutrition field in different ways.
Normally are collected the basal rosettes before flowering.

Field pansy

Viola arvensis

Viola-arvensis

It grows in plowed fields and gardens. It is used the whole plant along with other species.

White dead-nettle

Lamium album

It grows in places rich in nutrients (eg. fertilized meadows). Is eaten the top part before flowering.

Ribwort plantain

Plantago lanceolata

Plantago_lanceolata

Usually people eat the leaves that are also applied on the bites of mosquitoes, gnats and horseflies to ease the itch.

Corn salad

Valerianella locusta

Valerianella_locusta

Common in the plain fields, but rarely plentiful in some cases it is also cultivated.

It is eaten raw in salads and topped with lard.

Spiked rampion

Phyteuma spicatum

Common in the woods. In spring the basal rosette is picked up and used in salads, or just before flowering it is used to prepare omelettes.

Chicory

Cichorium intybus

Easily recognizable by the blue flowers, the basal rosette is consumed in spring.
It is also common along roads.

Flatweed

Hypochoeris radicata

Hypochoeris_radicata

It tends to disappear for the abandonment of mowing. Its basal rosette is consumed.

Caraway

Carum carvi

Carum-carvi

Quite spread in the high mountain alpine valleys, it can be eaten raw with oil.
The seeds are used to flavor the famous “petucia” or “petina”, a typical product of our valleys.

Butcher’s-broom

Ruscus aculeatus

Common in the woods. The first sprouts are sought to be eaten cooked or to macerate into brandy.