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Apulian Cooking
Wild herbs, precious for health Excellent for enriching and enhancing so many recipes, they are a concentrate of mineral salts, vitamins and fiber by Novella Pranzo
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Bladder campion
(Silene vulgaris) flowers.
Photo by Dario Ersetti

Foglie mischiate (mixed leaves):


4 servings:


- 800 g of cleaned vegetables

- 100 g of onion

- 150 g of tomatoes

- 50 g of extra-virgin olive oil

- 50 g of grated Pecorino cheese

- salt

- 1 hot chili pepper



Nutrition facts per serving:


- energy: 424 Kcal

- proteins: 8 g

- lipids: 34 g

- saturated fatty acids: 5.5 g

- carbohydrates: 23 g

- sugars: 7 g



Chicory and wild asparagus, dandelions, nettles… There are so many wild herbs that can be picked in the countryside in the spring. They are ideal for adding flavor to salads and soups but exquisite also as a filling for ravioli or lasagne, perhaps mixed with ricotta or primo sale or a light white sauce. And then they can enrich omelettes or pies, all need is a bit of imagination. The Mixed leaves that our gastronomic expert proposes are simple but tasty.

A great deal of scientific research has confirmed what ancient knowledge already knew: the wild herbs are an extremely healthy food. In comparison with farmed vegetables they have a greater concentration of mineral salts, anti-oxidants, vitamins and fiber.

Dandelions are very rich in vitamin C and fiber, which are so precious for the efficient working of the intestine. Wild chicory contains a good quantity of folic acid, a vitamin in the B group able to lower the levels of homocysteine (a substance that damages arteries and veins, thus dangerous for the cardio-vascular system) in the blood. Folic acid, also, is a micro-nutrient which is absolutely precious in pregnancy. Weeds have purifying properties: thanks to the quantity of water and potassium it stimulates the turnover of liquids in the body. Wild asparagus are rich in manganese, an important mineral in our metabolism, since it regulates both the use of sugars and that of fats.

The only contraindication: most wild herbs have a high content of vitamin K, dangerous for patients suffering from hypertension who are on anticoagulation medication.

However, if you comply with these precautions (you need to learn to recognize them to pick them out, and, as with all vegetables, it is wise to wash them well) wild herbs can be and should be included in our diets. We will gain in health and will be able to make our meals much tastier.

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