Strigoli, also commonly called silene (Silene vulgaris), are among the best edible wild herbs consumed throughout Italy, especially in Romagna. In Italian they are also called stridoli ,erba del cucco, carletti, etc., and there are numerous dialectal terms. In Brianza and in the Lariano Triangle they are called cornaggit, verzitt, erbett, salisett, etc. Silene is a herb with a delicate taste (between that of pea and that of cabbage), easy to find, recognizable by its green leaves glaucous. It has always been used, both cooked and raw, in popular cuisine to prepare: omelettes, pasta dishes, soups, fillings for fresh pasta and of course risotto. It is rich in vitamins, carbohydrates and mineral salts and also has a light laxative action. Obviously, a herb with many virtues and such a delicate flavor could only be one of my favorites! I learned to recognize and enjoy it from an early age and I continue to appreciate it, now as then. I really like risottos and the one with strigoli I cook today is a simple and inexpensive dish and due to its delicate flavor it is certainly also appreciated by those who do not expect to enjoy a risotto cooked with a spontaneous herb.

Ingredients for 4 people


300 g of vialone nano rice;
a shallot or an onion;
About 100 g of strigoli sprouts;
1 l of preferably vegetable broth;
a knob of butter;
extra virgin olive oil q. b .;
salt and pepper q. b ..
Carefully clean, wash and dry the shoots of the strigoli. Cut them lightly and let them simmer in a pan with the thinly sliced ​​shallot and a little oil. Add the rice and toast it well. For this risotto I use vialone nano rice (the one my grandmother used) because it seems to me that it harmonizes better with this herb. If desired, it is possible to blend with half a glass of dry white wine. Season with salt and pepper. Add the boiling broth from time to time and cook the risotto. Whisk it with the usual knob of butter, possibly very cold to ensure a better creaming, and then serve the risotto hot.
Some people add parmesan or pecorino, caciotta, montasio cheese, fresh ricotta, etc., at the end, or season with parsley. Personally, I don’t add any cheese so as not to cover the particular taste of the strigoli but for example my grandmother first and then my mother instead add a generous amount of Parmesan cheese when whipping the risotto, so I leave the use of this ingredient to personal taste.

Source:Il selvatico in cucina