If you are lucky enough to own a garden or to live near a lawn, have you noticed that, in a few days maybe after mowing, they have turned into a coat of bright yellow buttons?
These are very common flowers, which not everyone loves asthey are seen as weeds, especially in the home garden. They indicate the presence of the spontaneous herb from which they bud, a herb that is excellent in the kitchen, as well as in herbal medicine for therapeutic purposes.
I’m talking about the Dandelion, a small perennial herbaceous plant, widespread both in the plains and in the mountains, up to 2000 meters high.
In different areas of Italy it is called with various appellations, from “teeth of the lion” to “beard of the Lord” to “soffione”, the latter for the characteristic impalpable tuft, which appears when the flower matures.
In Veneto this herb is called “pissacàn” for its diuretic properties, or even “radicio mato”, as it is not a “real” but a wild radicchio.
In the past, pissacàn was a dish for the poor, cooked by peasant families who, not having many financial resources, lived with the products of the fields and vegetables.
Still today, however, it occupies an important place in the Venetian culinary tradition and we can use it to prepare salads, risotto, omelettes, soups, or simply boiled or “in tecia” (frypan).
And it is this last, very simple, recipe that I want to offer you, also because it is the most characteristic use of “pissacàn” in my region.
Recipe of the Pissacàn in tecia
- 1 kilo of pissacàn,
- 100 grams of lard or fresh bacon,
- 3 cloves of garlic,
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil,
- salt or a vegetable stock cube and pepper
Clean the herbs, collected in the field or purchased from the greengrocer, scraping the earth from the roots and removing the toughest external leaves, as well as any flowers.
Boil them in salted water for about 15 minutes, drain and squeeze them well.
In a frypan, brown the oil with the cloves of garlic and the lard (or bacon) cut into cubes, then add the pissacàn and let them cook on low heat for at least half an hour. Season with salt and pepper and then bring to the table.
It goes well with boiled or roasted meat.
Other tips for feeling good with the dandelion
The pissacàn are also excellent simply boiled and seasoned in a salad, while the smaller and tender leaves can be chewed raw in a mixed salad, with tomato and carrots, which attenuate the bitter taste.
Finally, the flowers are well suited to frying in batter, just like pumpkin flowers, or in oil, or in the preparation of syrups, honey, jellies and preserves.
Thanks to its multiple properties, also contained in the roots, the dandelion, as well as in the kitchen, is used in herbal medicine, under the name of Taraxacum Officinale, ideal for preparing herbal teas.
It can act as a laxative, diuretic, anti-diabetic, to prevent stones and as a purifying and anti-inflammatory, especially for the liver.
Considering all the benefits that this herb, defined as poor, can bring to the body and palate, it takes on great value and certainly justifies the time and effort to collect it!