Wild food: loertis omelette

by Camilla - foodaroundblog

Easter Monday, pale sunshine, a peaceful countryside behind our house and a dog eager to walk. The lush beauty of spring accompanied us along the canal that placidly down towards Oxford. Some barge, at walking pace. Along the way, at the path’s edge, perched around the bushes, who we meet? The loertis.

IMG_7085 This dialectal name in some areas of northern Italy is given to the wild hops (humulus lupulus). I did not think that even in these areas, I would have found..and how many! With the expert eye of a friend, fond of botany, we immediately started gathering to procure a rich booty!IMG_7068

The loertis is a perennial, climbing and clumping. It climbs from right to left through stiff hairs and curved and can reach 7 meters in height. The shoots are suitable for soups, risottos, omelettes, or simply to be boiled and seasoned with olive oil, salt and vinegar. The loertis is quite common in the lower Brescia, my husband’s hometown, and is located in bushes and hedges, in cool places, banks of ditches, vacant lots and humid, damp woods. It buds in March-April, so this is the best period. In a small village near Brescia, in these days, they celebrate the Loertis Festival, a special occasion where dishes based on this wild food are prepared. The loertis, are a delicacy in spring; using tender shoots rich in fiber vitamin A and C, minerals, especially potassium, and with very few calories.  The loertis are in excellent omelette .. and so I did just returned home.IMG_7089

Omelette with Loertis
Collect loertis in the spring, when the hedges are of a beautiful green, chop, wash and boil them in salted boiling water. Meanwhile, prepare a baking beaten eggs, grated cheese, a bit of parsley, a little of basil, salt and pepper. When everything is ready, take a pan, put it on the fire with butter, a little of oil e.v.o, a bit of minced garlic and finally the loertis. Fry a bit, stirring gently, then add the beaten eggs and cook like a normal pancake.

Hunger, after the long walk was so much, that we just had time to snap a quick photo and serve..