Monday, March 30, 2009

What do borage seedlings look like?

Now that joy and relief comes flooding in as that question is unloaded from curious minds, the next thing that begs to be asked is What do you do with borage? (borragine in italian) At this stage it's too early to use them although they do look like beautiful sprouts for a salad. In italian cooking however, the young leaves of a mature borage plant are used in a filling for ravioli. If I'm lucky enough to have them flourish in the garden, you can bet that I'll be making borage-stuffed ravioli in the future.

Average daytime temperature: 10°C / 50°F


  1. Gosh! Borrago is a major weed in my garden. Not even the chickens like it very much. They do look beaautifull when blooming But I never considered eating them...

  2. Weeds?!? I admit that the image sure looked like it on the packet, but they are such a staple on seed racks in italian garden shops that I just had to give it a try. Of course at the fantastic rate at which they grew, it's understandable if they're considered as weeds! :lol!!:

  3. They are wonderful for drawing bees. The smaller leaves and flowers are edible raw. And they are loaded with minerals and considered medicinal as well. I like borage. I wonder if those seedlings would like a bit more light?

  4. I'm looking forward to that ravioli! The leaves are great in Pimms. Try picking the little blue flowers and putting one in each section of an ice tray - looks really pretty when serving summer drinks.

  5. Rachel - you read their (my) mind! I moved them to a sunnier spot next to a window after I shot that image. I'm happy to know that they'll attract bees...we can never get enough of those busy insects around here ;-)

    Fern - I checked the ever reliable Wikipedia and there's a wealth of info on borage. The leaves are said to taste like cucumber? Interesting to note the usage of this plant in german and spanish cooking as well. Borage

    Casalba - will do! I've never seen a bottle in the wine/spirits section but then it was never on the shopping list. Now I'm curiuos!

  6. That picture looks so pretty!

    I've never heard of that before. I like the idea of adding it to ravioli though!

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Ciao Rowena, I have a further recipe for borraggine, I'm sure you'll understand it even if I write it in Italian:
    Puoi fare friggere le foglie piĆ¹ grandi di borraggine in una pastella come per le frittelle di mele, oppure mettere una fettina di prosciutto e un po' di formaggio (anche sottilette!) tra due foglie, passarle in pastella e friggerle. Noi le chiamiamo le bistecche vegetali. Sono moolto buone! If you don't say what they are, nobody will guess it!
    Flowers are very nice when iced, as Casalba said.
    Ciao, buona primavera, enjoy your yard. Greetings to D.
    Annalisa, Torino.

  8. In Liguria the boragine is used in 'prebuggiun,' a mixture of wild greens that people gather in spring and early summer. It is used to stuff ravioli as well as in fritata. I've tried the leaves in various ways, but they're pretty hairy and not all that appealing. The beautiful blue flowers, however, really dress up a salad. There's a nice NYTimes article on Ligurian Pot Herbs. Do a google on 'food distinctive italian fare liguaria' and I bet you'll come up with it.

  9. Annalisa - bistecche vegetali?? (wow!) Ho capito la ricetta perfettamente...grazie tantissimo!!

    Farfalle1 - Prebugiun! That's what I was trying to remember. I've also got good promise for the sorrel that is just peeking through the dirt. Now if we could only have a little sun...everyone is probably thinking the same in these parts. Basta con questa pioggia!!

  10. Borage plants have beautiful purple-blue flowers and they grow like weeds here. They're just coming out along the roadsides and edges of the vineyards. The leaves taste a bit like cucumber and you can use them in salad. I've just read in Patience Gray's book Honey from a Weed that you can put the flowers in salads too, so I'm going to do that when I pick some. The ravioli sounds good too - I'll try that as well!

  11. Chaiselongue - Weeds? I bet there are borage plants growing wild around here but I never did notice them because I had no idea what they looked like. The only weeds that caught my eye were those darn dandelions. :-D


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