Cicerchia Legume from Serra de’ Conti - Slow Food Presidium- 17,6 OZ - 500 Gr

The Cicerchia (lat. lathyrus sativus, also known as Chickling Pea) is a legume. It produces seeds that stem from an annual grass-like plant, quite similar to the chick pea plant. Its origins date far back to the Middle East. The Greeks called it lathiros, cicerula was the name used by Romans.

The Cicerchia (lat. lathyrus sativus, also known as Chickling Pea) is a legume. It produces seeds that stem from an annual grass-like plant, quite similar to the chick pea plant. Its origins date far back to the Middle East. The Greeks called it lathiros, cicerula was the name used by Romans.

In Italy existed about twenty different varieties that were grown in the center and in the North. Over time cultivation declined and, in these last decades, Cicerchia quite disapperared. Sowing takes place in the spring, at the beginning of April, harvest is at the end of July.

Cicerchia has no special cultivation needs and can grow under harsh conditions. It is draught resistant and can deal with poor soil. Like all legumes its nutritional values are interesting for its high content of protein and starch, and low content of fat. Its vitamin content is considerable with B1, B2 and B3 (PP), It also contains calcium, phosphorus, and fiber. Apart from the fact that it is good tasting, it is dried and thus easily preserved.

Slow Food Presidium

In the area around Serra de’Conti, between the hills that provide the ideal conditions for the Verdicchio grapes, a special variety of Cicerchia is grown. One of its characteristics is that the cultivation has hardly any impact on the environment. The seed is flat and angular. Colour goes from grey to spotted brown and a pod that is not chewy, the taste is less bitter than other varieties. It needs to be soaked far shorter than other varieties. About 8 hours of soaking is sufficient and 45 minutes cooking is enough. These characteristics, besides ensuring a pleasant taste, make it ideal for both traditional dishes and innovative recipes. This particularly versatile ingredient is very good in soups and stews, and as a puree or served as a side dish with pork knuckle.

 

Preparation

Sauté celery, carrots, and onions in olive oil. Add to these two ladles of vegetable broth and let it simmer for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile rub the soup bowls with a garlic clove. Then dish out the hot soup. You can also add croutons and chives. Round it off with a streak of good extra virgin olive oil.