Orecchiette with turnip greens: everything you need to know

Orecchiette with turnip greens: everything you need to know.

A typical recipe widespread between Puglia and Basilicata is orecchiette with turnip greens.

An Apulian variant involves the addition of anchovies, while, in Basilicata, and mostly in Vulture and Materano, the dish is often seasoned with crumbled or powdered crusco pepper. The turnip top is a typical vegetable of Italian agriculture, cultivated mainly in Lazio, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Molise and Campania, in which 95% of the agricultural area dedicated to this plant extends. Puglia with 3,500 hectares of cultivation produces a third of the Italian product. Browse the photo gallery.

Orecchiette with turnip greens: all the secrets of this dish
Typical vegetable of Italian agriculture, turnip greens are the most valuable part, together with the stems and flowers. In this photo gallery we give you some advice on this dish and its main ingredient: turnip greens.
How to choose turnip greens
When buying it is good to check that the turnip greens are well compacted. Discard buds with yellow flowers: these buds have already lost much of their flavor. If you do not find the buds on the market you can only use the leaves, paying attention to remove the ribs and prolonging the cooking phase.
How to clean turnip greens
Remove the hard stems and larger leaves, then select and clean the flower about 5 centimeters away from the stem, near the leaves that contain the top. At this point put them in a pasta drainer and rinse them with cold water, taking care not to damage the flower and not to leave any remnants of earth.
How to store turnip greens
Turnip greens can be stored in the fridge for up to 2-3 days in a regular food bag. Turnip greens already cooked instead can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. In this case they must first be blanched or steamed.
How to cook turnip greens
Turnip greens are a particularly versatile ingredient because it goes perfectly with many foods and can be cooked in different ways (boiled, cooked, steamed, stewed). Our advice is to use turnip greens to season pasta and pizza, as in the Italian tradition, but they can also be used as a side dish or as a second course (as in the picture).
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