With the Italian cooking style, a certain trend has also been spreading all through the world. This is how strange looking plants have become something familiar for all the cooks in the world.

They are present in familiar Italian food courses like the light salad beloved by anybody and known as one of the famous Italian antipasti.

The Artichokes

(Cinara scolymus)

Known mostly as a bitter plant from the South – East of Europe, the artichokes is very popular in Greece, Italy and France.

From it we consume the unusual flowers, which are pretty maces, usually cleaned of the fleshy exterior layers.

The artichokes flowers have a vaguely bitter taste far less bitter than the leaves which are used as a medicine, and they are an exquisitely tasty food item.

How to cook it?

The simplest and also the most common used recipe of preparing the artichokes is: prepare 10 flowers of artichokes removing the fleshy exterior leaves until you reach those petals that are white and fragile.

Mince them and keep them in a bowl with water combined with the juice from half a lemon, for 20 minutes, so they won’t become black.

Put the flowers in a pot with a pinch of garlic, olive oil and water and boil them at low temperature until the artichokes get soft.

You can eat them as they are or spread some parmesan on them and enjoy their majestic taste.


(Ruccola balsamica)

Ruccola is an herb, with palmed leaves very similar to the ones of the dandelion but smoother at the edges. It was taken from the Italian kitchen which currently is the most popular and appreciated cooking style in the world.

Ruccola is considered the latest discovery in therapy diet being the main ingredient in the most popular salads in Europe and United States where it is also known as argula. It is appreciated for its delightful slightly sour taste and it is known to be very appreciated in detoxifying diets.

How to cook it?

In the Italian cooking, the ruccola is used as a salad ingredient but also as a garnish for the pizza added at the end of the baking process with minced green parsley in order to make the flavors more intense and ease the digestion.

The ruccola salad is prepared out of a handful of ruccola leaves and four cherry tomatoes cut in quarters – another Italian special very common on the antipasti plates accompanied by mozzarella.

The salad is dressed with extra virgin olive oil and a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Using vinegar is not recommended because it alters the vitamin qualities of the leaves. The ruccola leaves are torn with the hands and not cut with a knife because they wither fast and lose taste.

All the ingredients are mixed well adding seasoning but not in a large quantity or the plant’s taste will be altered.

It is recommended that the salad should be consumed in the next 15 minutes after it was prepared otherwise it loses the nutrition properties.



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