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Apulian Cooking
Lampascioni (Grape hyacinth bulbs)
The viagra of the Ancients
The beneficial properties of these bitter but tasty wild onions are numerous.
And lentils, like all pulses loaded with positive qualities, are no less nutritious
by Novella Pranzo
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Grape hyacinths bulbs. Photo by Dario Ersetti

Lentils with lampascioni (grape hyacinth bulbs)


   4 servings:


- 300 g of lentils

- a stalk of celery

- 2 cloves of garlic

- 16 grape hyacinth bulbs (lampascioni)

- salt

- extra virgin olive oil


   Nutrition facts per serving:

- energy: 348 Kcal

- protein: 16,50 g

- lipids: 14,50 g

- glucides: 40 g

- fiber: 14 g 


The tasty recipe that our gastronomy expert suggests this month is very healthy and also aphrodisiac! This is in fact one of the properties of grape hyacinth bulbs recognized by historical figures such as Pliny the Elder and Ovid. An authentic viagra for the Ancients, apparently, and that’s why today lampascioni are still brought to wedding banquets as a good omen.

Apart from the historical legends, grape hyacinth bulbs are excellent for detoxing the digestive organs as they have a purifying, diuretic and laxative effect and are therefore refreshing. They are very rich in mineral salts and vitamins as well as soluble fiber that swells in the stomach increasing the sense of fullness and are therefore very effective for those wanting to eat less.

What’s more, if eaten regularly, lampascioni play an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial role in our organism.

Like all pulses, lentils too are called “the meat of the poor” due to their high vegetable protein content, with lots of carbs and few fats.

Lentils are the pulses with the greatest antioxidant power because they have a high isoflavone content and are very rich in iron with moderate amounts of calcium and potassium.

They are useful for the prevention of cardiovascular pathologies and in the fight against hyperlipidemias (especially hypercholesterolemia) and in diabetes; in fact, thanks to their high soluble fiber content, they improve intestinal motility and slow down the absorption of carbs and fats, helping to control the blood levels of the latter.

The combination of lentils and lampascioni in the same recipe therefore gives us an extremely healthy dish, a powerhouse of beneficial effects.

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