Frittata from Friuli with wild herbs

I love walking and my daily 10 Km have become a very pleasent routine.

During these long walks through the meadows my gaze comes across oasis of aromatic herbs that remind me of the days spent with my grandmother picking Bladder Campion, Dandelion, Chives and Wild Fennel to prepare a delicious omelette with freshly picked herbs.

These fresh smells, aromas and flavors not only give a unique taste to the dish, but they also evoke memories linked to my childhood so that it becomes food for the soul. Aroma and memory are closely linked and a smell can suddenly evoke a long forgotten moment.

Throughout history, eating habits and food processing techniques have undergone significant evolutions, but the gathering of spontaneous herbs has always been a common element present in all eras and geographical areas.

In medieval cuisine, spices were indispensable, despite being very expensive as they consisted of bark, roots, flowers, seeds, fruits and berries derived from aromatic plants from the Eastern and tropical countries. Since the end of the 15th century there has been a revolution in the use of spices in the kitchen, replaced by local aromatic herbs, which when used well, enhance the flavors and have the ability to make the dishes more refined.

Maestro Martino da Como, cook of the Patriarch of Aquileia, used his special herbal juice in many recipes. It was obtained by chopping parsley, mint, marjoram, borage and sage. Herbs appear in all his recipes whether they are salty or sweet.

In the kitchen, aromatic herbs should preferably be used fresh and the more delicate ones should be added to the recipe at the very last moment. The flavor of a herb changes depending on whether it is cooked or used raw; when raw, it maintains its characteristic flavor, when cooked it blends with the flavor of the food and makes the taste of the dish homogeneous. In both cases the herb is an irreplaceable ingredient of the recipe. In Friulian cuisine, other than risotto of course, the dish that best represents the use of wild herbs is Frittata.

It is a type of omelette and it is made like this:

In a pan (Farsora in the Friulian language), the herbs and eggs lightly beaten together are mixed until they blend together. The secret to a high omelette is not the quantity of eggs, but the pan, which must be small and with high sides, in this way it remains soft inside, while it forms a crust on the outside.

The herbs that we will use for our Frittata are those mentioned above, and they are those that are currently easily found in our fields, but any combination of herbs will do great.

Ingredients: 4 eggs, dandelion, bladder campion , wild fennel, chives, salt and pepper to taste.

Break the eggs into a bowl and add salt, pepper and coarsely chopped aromatic herbs. In a pan, heat a little oil and pour the mixture, when the omelette is cooked on one side, turn it over with the help of a plate and cook it on the other side. Now you just have to taste it, and as always, we recommend you combine it with a good wine from Colli Orientali (Friuli’s Eastern Hills).


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