Here are some tips for the cultivation, conservation and culinary use of the “filling” queen of Ligurian cuisine: Borage.
In our news you’ll also find some Borage-related trivia.
Cultivation, conservation, culinary use and interesting facts about Borage, a plant that RB Plant grows and distributes from Albenga as a part of its Sunny heRBs range of products.
Borrago officinalis, otherwise known as Borage, is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows throughout Mediterranean Italy but is particularly widespread in the regions of Liguria and Campania where it is a common feature in regional cuisine.
The Borage plant produces thick, slightly hairy leaves that are harvested from April right through to the end of the summer season.
The properties of Borage are highly appreciated both in the kitchen and in various cosmetic and medicinal applications.
Borage is the “filling” queen of Ligurian cuisine. It is the principal ingredient of the world-famous ravioli.
This is a popular plant in the herb garden because it is edible and it also provides beautiful little blue flowers that brighten-up the garden.
The brightly-coloured flowers also attract bees and other agriculture-friendly insects. The flowers a rich in nectar and are much appreciated by bumble bees, honeybees and wasps.
This plant is listed among the wild growing spontaneous species and as such is extremely easy to cultivate. Often, once it has been transplanted into the garden and left to its own devices, it will easily continue to spread on its own.
It doesn’t have any notable natural enemies such as parasites or diseases and therefore requires no special attention; it could in fact be considered a “biological weed”.
Borage requires only occasional watering in the summer to prevent the soil from drying out completely.
Borage: conserving the leaves
Before picking, the leaves of the Borage must be swollen, bright green in colour and neither dry, yellowing, full of holes or covered in spots. The leaves should have the stalk removed before being washed and if not to be used immediately, left in the fridge or other cool place.
If you don’t use them right away (remember that Borage leaves should be eaten within a maximum of two days of being picked), place them in a box and cover them with a damp cloth. For best results it’s always a good idea to pick the leaves on the day that they will be used.
Borage: culinary use
Use the cooked leaves, boiled or steamed and then sauteed in a pan (try them with garlic, oil and anchovies!), or in delicious omelettes, in Ligurian stuffing and simply fried.
If you like to decorate your dishes you can make use of Borage’s beautiful little flowers or use them in teas and infusions.
Borage: interesting facts
The name “Borage” is derived from the Latin “burra”, meaning coarse wool and referring to the downy hair that covers the leaves.
In ancient times, Borage was considered a plant capable of warding off sadness and for the Greeks and Romans, borage was a symbol of courage.