“Rosole” are young wild poppy plants, Papaver rhoeas, locally known as “rosolaccio”, a “poor” ingredient with which farmers, and not only, enriched their diet.
In the past poppies infested fields, cultivations and meadows; but due to the continuous use of pesticides, this very prolific plant has become less common. Since the war, its use has become increasingly rare.The plants are harvested before they begin to develop flowers, preferably leaving the root in the soil, to favor the development of a new plant. Our grandparents used them in abundance after the winter, for their purifying and depurative properties.
The content of alkaloids in its leaves is irrelevant, so the narcotic properties as well as the calming, sedative and analgesic properties are mild, unlike the other parts of the plant (seeds, capsules, latexes, etc.).
Curious fact: Fresh flower petals are used to color syrups and drinks. The “rosolaccio” is mildly sedative and antispasmodic, its petals and emptied capsules are used in infusions and syrups useful to calm cough, insomnia and nervous excitement.
A number of recipes can be made with the young poppy leaves: stuffing for tortelli and ravioli, risottos, sautéed with oil and chili pepper, soups, cornmeal, croquette, pies and so on.
For a flavorful and tasty risotto: once the base for risotto is ready (oil, onion and a little white wine, for those who like it) add washed and shredded rosole half-way through the cooking. Serve with Parmesan cheese or another aged cheese, and butter. Simple, delicate flavors, like the good old days.
The Biologist Nutrizionist Dr. Giancarla Monticelli