rosemary

Elba at table: rosemary and calamint

Not everyone knows that it’s possible to use Elba’s typical wild herbs to “flavour” your menus.
You’ll be truly surprised to discover just how many wild herbs are not only edible but also delicious and could really add that little touch of something special to everyday dishes.

Here’s a short post about this, extracted from the book by Pierangela Pelizza Piras, “The Island of Elba in the Kitchen” (Stafanoni, Publishing House, Lecco).

“On Elba you’ll find all the Mediterranean aromatic shrubs, and there’s no need to dry them either since they are almost all growing here and available fresh all year round.

Rosemary is perhaps the most characteristic Mediterranean shrub and grows wild everywhere on the island.
The essence of rosemary is best exhalted when used on roast and grilled meats and fish. But it should not be used directly to cook beef, veal, lamb, chicken or rabbit. In order to use it at its best, take a twig of rosemary dipped in olive oil and simply brush the food with it before cooking.
Rosemary can be liberally added when frying potato cubes or chunks with garlic cloves (in their skins). Here again it is best to use fresh rosemary which is found on the island all year round.

Nepitella or calamint is another spontaneous wild herb found and used here on Elba. In other parts of Italy it is known as ‘mentuccia’ or ‘mentastro’, (poor or fake mint), most inappropriately and unfairly.
Its aroma is unmistakeable. It is slightly bitter and truly a ‘must’ in salt-cod soups and stews, in snail dishes, in tomato and bread ‘pappa’, and in stewed mushrooms.

So, surprise your guests with these really special ingredients and keep following us!

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