Eat your veggies

Living in Italy has taught me to LOVE vegetables, especially the ones I formerly considered “scary” …like chicory, Swiss chard, and all those other leafy greens. But with a simple mix of oil, salt, garlic and peperoncino tossed in a fry-pan (called ripassata) any boring veg can be transformed into a delightful side-dish of garlicky goodness!

Here’s the basic recipe for any veggie ripassata:

Take your chicory/spinach/chard/broccoli rabe/whatever: hack off the stems from just below the leaf and throw them away, then rinse the leaves. Boil in salted water for about 5-10 minutes (not the spinach…that’s thin enough as is). In the meantime, put a dollop of olive oil in a pan with a clove of garlic (or two or three) and a dried peperoncino (broken open and let all the little flakes out). Sauté until the garlic turns a golden-brown. Strain your veggies and throw them in the pan and sauté for a few minutes (either until the excess water has evaporated or until it tastes done. I have to continuously taste what I’m cooking, which is why baking scares me). Salt to taste.

The ripassata is only the basis for so many other delicious dishes. Do this with broccoli then top it on fresh orecchiette pasta with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for a typical dish from the region of Puglia. Use it as a filling for stuffed bread or homemade ravioli. You can even add raisins to your chicory to cut the bitter taste.

The other evening, my hubby made an extra-special chard ripassata. He basically followed the same recipe but, at the end, added a small pad of butter and a small handful of Parmigiano. Less healthy, but SO worth it!

What’s your favorite vegetable recipe? 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5 Responses to Eat your veggies

  1. AnastasiaVS says:

    Can I just say, after reading this I feel like making spinach ripassata!!!

  2. Joey Brunelle says:

    Don’t throw the stems away – compost them like we do in SF!

    Love the recipe, love the blog. I still miss Rome. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Culinary secrets from a Roman grandma « My life in Rome

  4. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up and
    let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking
    issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

  5. It’s an awesome article designed for all the online viewers; they will take benefit from it I am sure.

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