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Milk thistle in the kitchen: recipes, contraindications, uses in the kitchen and beneficial properties. All information on the botanical species Silybum marianum, better known asmilk thistle.
Themilk thistleis a spontaneous species that grows throughout Italy and its use in the kitchen can give life to a large number of recipes, all very tasty and all forgetby most Italians. Yet themilk thistleis a plant used in cooking since the days ofPliny the Elder (1st century AD). If today themilk thistleit is collected in the uncultivated meadows, once its was widespread cultivation for food purposes. As well as the milk thistle, another spontaneous edible herb that seems to beforgottenand thechenopodio.
Milk thistle in the kitchen
Of themilk thistle, in the kitchen, leaves, stems, roots, collar, seeds and flower heads are used ... in short, nothing is thrown away.
The root represents an authentic vegetable, it can be peeled and boiled and consumed just as we are used to doing with carrots, turnips, beets ... its flavor is similar tobeak beard(Tragopogon pratensis). The collar, the part that follows the roots, can be removed from thorns, boiled and seasoned or chopped to enrich soups, stews and minestrone.
The leaves of themilk thistleto be used in the kitchen, they should be harvested in winter because it is in this period that they are more tender and sweet. After removing the thorns, you can coarsely chop them to add to mixed vegetable salads or salads made from thistle. The leaves can also be consumed after cooking: once boiled you can use them inrecipesjust like you would with chard or spinach ... then you can make fantastic ravioli or cannelloni stuffed withmilk thistleand cheeses.
The stems must be carefully peeled to get the heart: they are tender and sweet. You can use them to make soups, enrich salads, pinzimonio or eat them alone with mayonnaise. You can use the pith of the stems ofmilk thistle in the kitchenjust like you would with asparagus.But be careful!If the leaves are harvested in winter, the stems should be harvested in spring, before the flower heads emerge. If you notice the flower heads, these are eaten as if they were miniature artichokes, if you have any recipes forrisottowith artichokes, replace the artichokes with flower heads.
Milk thistle, recipes
As explained in the previous paragraph, themilk thistlecan be used in a large number of recipes. The flower heads can take the place of artichokes, the cleaned and peeled root can replace carrots and turnips… The central ribs, on the other hand, can be made parmigiana or roasted!
At harvest time, discard the most fibrous ribs: a single fibrous rib is enough to ruin the entire course! The more fibrous ribs can be cooked and blended and then used in recipes for soups or vegetable velvety. If you keep the fibrous ribs in the refrigerator, you will notice that the following day they will have assumed a characteristic turquoise / blue color, do not worry, it is normal and ribs of milk thistle they are still edible.
Another quick recipe with milk thistle? You can roast the larger ribs on a cast iron grill or in a non-stick pan, to be served with salt, oil and balsamic vinegar.
Milk thistle, contraindications
The Milk thistle contains tyramine, a substance capable of stimulating the production of exciting neurotransmitters such as dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline, these signal molecules, in our body, increase blood pressure levels. Frequent and large doses of milk thistle is contraindicated in patients suffering from hypertension.
Cooking milk thistle and other edible wild herbs
If you are fond of edible herbs and wild plants to use in the kitchen, I recommend purchasing thePractical Guide to Good Herbs divided into two volumes. In Volume 1 there is an entire chapter devoted todandelion with many recipes and instructions for using the flowers, leaves and roots in the kitchen and as a natural remedy for various ailments. For more information on the contents of the aforementioned manuals and the list of edible herbs treated, I invite you to consult the pages:
- Recognize and cook good herbs. Volume 1
Amazon price: € 8.42 with free shipping
- Recognize and cook good herbs. Volume 2
Amazon price € 8.42 with free shipping.