Ingredients: Per 4 servings
- 16 veal scaloppine, of about 1.5 oz each
- 1 lb pumpkin, cleaned
- 1 lb chicory
- 1 ¼ oz almonds, sliced
- ½ onion
- all-purpose flour to taste
- 1 ½ oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- white wine to taste
- butter to taste
- extra virgin olive oil to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
Gently fry the onion in 2 spoonfuls of oil until lightly golden, and then add the pumpkin in slices.
Salt, pepper, and leave to cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, covered.
Mash the pumpkin into a puree and add the grated Parmesan.
Finely chop the chicory, boil it, and toss in a pan containing a dribble of oil with the almonds, and adjust the salt and pepper.
Pair off the slices of veal previously beaten with a meat pounder, and spread the top one with the pumpkin puree and then roll them up.
Dip in the flour, leave to brown with a knob of butter for about 6 minutes, then douse with the wine, allow it to evaporate, cover, and leave to cook for 6-8 minutes more.
Serve on a bed of chicory and almonds.
It’s difficult to determine clearly if the name “chicory,” or cicoria in Italian, has Arabic, Egyptian, or other origins because this plant was already known and used by mankind long before written history. In ancient times, chicory was largely consumed for its therapeutic properties as a depurative and detoxative, a regulator of the liver and intestine, and as a cure for insomnia. In the 2nd Century A.D., Apicus Celio (De re coquinaria) suggested pairing it with a drizzle of oil and sliced onion.
The roots of chicory have been used more than once in history as a substitute for coffee, not simply for medicinal use, but mostly as a replacement for real coffee any time war or other situations blocked commercial trade of the importation of coffee beans.
Today, consumption of chicory leaves has remained in regional cuisine, for example in minestrones like that of Puglia with fava beans or in the “ripassata” minestrone.
Did you know that…
In some Alpine zones, chicory has been called the “shepherd’s clock” because its flowers always open in the morning at the same hour and close at midday, thus regulating the shepherd’s day.
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