Anybody eat this?

After marrying my Italian wife and moving to Italy, my wife’s family introduced me to stuff I’d never eaten before.

Silene Vulgaris, the bladder campion or maidenstears grows wild here and is very good cooked like spinach. We also use it for risotto.

They sell seeds for it but it only grows where it wants to, usually in cracks in the concrete, or on the sides of roads.

I dug some up and transplanted it to my yard. I then allowed it to flower and disperse its seeds.


Growing up, we called those “scoppiettini” (translated to little poppers) in my neck of the woods. You can pop the flowers, therefore the name.

They’re edible and they grow in the wild almost everywhere in Italy. They leaves are quite delicious if picked before flowering. If you eat it after flowering it’s bitter. Good stuff!


I started seeds last year in small pots, and they germinated really easily. Seeds were from Franchi. Perhaps I tried cooking with them at the wrong time, but the flavor wasn’t terribly distinctive. Cool plant, though!

I love the diversity of Italian produce. This year, I’m trying Mentuccia romana from Uprising Seeds. :slight_smile: Mentuccia Romana | Uprising Seeds

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I’ve been trying to grow Cicoria Catalogna Brindisina for years in a desperate attempt to get she shoots in the middle. I just don’t have the right climate here in the northeast US.

In traditional Roman cuisine we use them to make a delicious salad called “Puntarelle.” The dressing is made with anchovies, garlic, EVOO combo… I miss these things so much. Unfortunately they’re seasonal in Italy and can’t be found all year long.


Do you know if you can eat the leaves of artichokes, I know you can eat cardoon, but I don’t have cardoon, I have artichoke plant and no artichokes. I’m thinking of using the leaves as cardoon leaves. Any thought?

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Where I live, it’s good right now until Mid April. So, it’s a small window

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In Friuli, it’s called Grisol

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I tried growing it last year, with limited success. But I was excited to able to harvest one small plant! I used the same Serious Eats recipe and it was great! :grinning:image|690x920

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Do you mean the stems? Cardoon leaves are very bitter, and I imagine that artichoke leaves would be similar. I don’t see why artichoke stems couldn’t be eaten. After all, a long stem is often attached and eaten along with the buds.

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@Marco Have you tried growing agretti where you are? It’s done well for me in Oklahoma, though I think it would prefer a less hot climate. It reseeds nicely, but hasn’t been invasive.

Caper seeds have been very difficult to germinate. This is my second year trying, and it’s looking like a bust.:expressionless:

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Can’t say I know of agretti. From the name, it sounds a little bitter.

I mean the stalks/stems like in these recipes.

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My grandmother made fried cardoons. I liked them.

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This link says it’s good for your liver.

There seem to be multiple names for it: Agretti (140-99) - Seeds from Italy

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Some things have a small window but grow when other stuff does not though. Lettuce and cabbage grows here early on when no other plants will be growing. For flowers daffodils, tulips crocus will all bloom far before many other flowers and will provide early spring flowers here even when it is still snowing.

The leaves are very strongly flavored. It is a type of naturopathic medicine, which I make and use. I take the lower, more bitter leaves and make a glycerite out of them. Great for antioxidants and digestion.
John S

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How do you make glycerite out of them.

Which one of the greens are you referring to? The subject of the thread or one of the others?

He’s replying to me regarding artichoke leaves.

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