Friarielli - underskattat, men väldigt gott

Friarielli - underrated, but very good

Friarielli is an often overlooked ingredient that many Swedes don't even know about. In Naples, on the other hand, it is used extensively, and not least on pizza.

The green vegetable may not look super exciting, but it can give a nice kick to pizza and other food if it is combined and prepared in the right way.

After reading this article, you will know everything you need to know about friarielli.

Fields of green Friarielli in the foreground and Mount Vesuvius in the background, in Sarno, Italy

What is friarielli?

Friarielli - also often called wild broccoli - is an Italian vegetable that you usually find in the Naples area. Dating back to antiquity, it's been in the game for a long time, and if you're eating pizza around Naples, you'll no doubt come across it.

It was originally cultivated in Campania, but has now spread over most of the country. Visually, friarielli has a green color on the darker side, and as a plant it has thin stems and small flowers (however, you often harvest before the flowers bloom).

Outside of Naples, there are many different names for friarielli, and it is easy to get confused. Cimi di Rapa - something that is often said instead of friarielli - is the same plant as friarielli. The difference is that the friarielle is only the upper part of the plant with the broccoli-like appearance.

In addition, friarielli is very useful, as it contains a cocktail of vitamins and antioxidants.

What does friarielli taste like?

Describing taste is always tricky, but friarielli definitely reminds me of broccoli. However, it is more bitter, which may not sound very pleasant, but if prepared correctly and combined well, the bitterness becomes a lovely complement to the dish.

There's also a slight hint of almond if you really want to geek out, but we'd say it's enough to liken it to broccoli. In other words, friarielli doesn't have a strange taste, and we think many people can appreciate it. But you simply have to try and decide for yourself!

Friarielli's texture and how you can influence it

The texture is somewhat easier to describe than the taste; we all chew almost the same anyway. Most of the time, friarielli is quite crunchy, which is really nice on dishes like pizza and pasta, which can often otherwise lack this element.

The crunchiness decreases the more you cook it, but the texture is usually well maintained. So you can influence the consistency yourself depending on how you prepare it. For example, you can fry the friarielle in lots of olive oil (preferably with garlic too) before use. Then it often becomes a little less "chewy" while a crispness remains. This option is probably preferable if you don't run it in the oven on a pizza or similar.

You can also only boil it, and then it will be at its softest. It is also fine to just use the friarielle as it is, after a rinse of course. Then it is not too crispy, and a noticeable resistance to chewing remains.

Friarielli on pizza

Friarielli on pizza is not a huge thing in Sweden, and we think that's a shame. In Naples, along with salsiccia, friarielli is one of the most common pizzas, and for good reason.

Firstly, the vegetable is very beautiful on the pizza and gives a great aesthetic boost - it simply looks more professional! Then friarielli is nice because the complexity increases. The bitterness becomes greater while a subtle sweetness is presented.

One of the most popular pizzas around Naples is Salsiccia e Friarielli. Here you combine the unique bitterness of friarielli with the spicy sausage, which together with a sweet tomato sauce and a mild and creamy mozzarella makes a really good pizza.

How to choose the right friarielli?

Here we have collected some of the most common questions we get about friarielli:

Does the friarielle have to be fresh?

Friarielli is most often found in Sweden in canned form; so in a can. It's easy to think that fresh is better, which it can be if you eat it raw. On the other hand, in cooked form on pizza, it is perfectly fine to use canned. The biggest difference then is in the texture, where the fresh one is more crunchy.

Does the season matter?

If you buy canned friarielli, the season is not very important. However, there can be a difference if you buy it fresh, as it tastes best during the autumn and spring periods when it is sufficiently cool. However, this is only the case if you buy friarielli grown outdoors around the Mediterranean, which most people don't.

Which friarielli is the best?

Of course, the friarielle has to be good for it to taste good. There are lots of high-quality products, and many of them are good to choose from. We offer Gustarosso's Friarielli , which is both balanced in taste and always tastes fresh thanks to a pack of salt and water.

n Gustarosso brand can with Friarielli (broccoli rabe), with an image of a man holding the vegetables and a rural landscape in the background

Are you excited to try it?

If you became curious about friarielli and want to try it yourself with pizza, pasta or something else entirely, you are in the right place! In our webshop you can click home both Lilla Napoli's favorite friarielli and lots of other tasty products.

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