What is mixed salad or crazy grass, a typical Roman salad
The vegetable mix in central Italy it is an institution. Also known as mesticance or crazy weed in peasant dialect, it is a healthy and tasty side dish made with field herbs. Refer back to the past peasant habits to bring to the table what nature has to offer, even and above all in times of hunger.
This “crazy” salad is a mix of vegetables and flowers, to be eaten raw or cooked, rich in vitamins and fibres, and composed according to seasonal availability.
What is meant by mysticism
As the word also suggests, mixed salad is a rich salad, a mixture of field herbs, wild or cultivated. It is an excellent side dish in Roman cuisine. Like puntarella with anchovies, it is a dish linked to tradition and of which a good memory has been kept.
Chicories call it crazy grass in dialect, because it can really contain anything. Generally the protagonist is the chicory, especially when still young and tender, accompanied by various other seasonal herbs. If eaten raw, it is seasoned with salt, plenty of extra virgin olive oil and vinegar.
How to prepare a good mixed salad
A good mixed salad is based on all the edible wild herbs available in the fields. The balance of flavor and taste is the habit of the collector.
Generally the protagonist of mysticanza is the chicory, we said it, but the amount of varieties and combinations that one could try is endless. It reads on the site theItalian Academy of Cuisine that goes in mysticance “first of all the field chicory, then the barberry (or barberry or prickly lettuce), the hunting hare, the cockscomb, the dandelion (or pisciaca or tarassico), the burnet, the raponzoli (or rapenzoli) , walnut grass (or St. Peter’s grass), cipiccia (lettuce or radicchiello), lamb’s lettuce (sweet), papala (poppy plant), friar’s cord, donkey’s ear, etc”.
Misticanza, the typical recipe that doesn’t exist
Mixed salad is a dish to greet, facile e quick to prepare. With a little experience, vegetables can all be harvested easily in country meadows. However, it can also be found ready-made at the greengrocer’s or bought in a bag at the supermarket. It is often made with garden vegetables such as rocket salad, curly salad, chicory, radicchio, cut chicory, etc. If, on the other hand, you want to experiment, there is no limit to your imagination.
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