Risotto with Bladder Campion - or Bubbolini!

Bladder campion (Silene vulgaris) - another useful perennial vegetable.

Bladder Campion (Michael H. Lemmer  CC BY-SA 2.5) 

Evergreen throughout this last winter and leafing up quickly now that spring approaches.

Bladder campion leaves in February
State of growth in February 2016

The leaves are mild and slightly pea-like in flavour. I could detect no bitterness. Best harvested before flowering.

Harvested sprigs of bladder campion leaves
Harvested sprigs

The plant has a long history of use in the Mediterranean especially in Italy. One can turn up countless Italian names for bladder campion: stridolo, strigoli, carletti, sculpit, grisolon, bubbolini, coietti, cannateddi, schioppettino, cavoli della comare, tagliatelle della Madonna, erba del cucco and virzuli are just a small sample!

In Italian style I cooked the leaves in a risotto (along with Babington leek, shallot, white wine and soft Italian cheese).

Risotto di Vizuli
Risotto di Vizuli

It is also used in many other ways: pasta sauces, as a stuffing in ravioli, and in frittata, salads and stews. I'm looking forward to making a vegetarian version of this Spanish dish Potaje de garbanzos con collejas y bacalao (chickpea stew with bladder campion and cod).

N.B. I sell a range of perennial vegetable plants on my website.