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Bladder campion risotto, a vegetarian recipe of Romagna

Bladder campion risotto

Bladder campion in Italian are stridoli, or strigoli.

Nonna often used this wild herb. She used to make a typical vegetarian ragù of Romagna, or risotto, frittata, potato and bladder campion schiacciata (a sort of thin focaccia), and maltagliati soup in chicken broth. She also used it as a filling for tortelli.

I also like them to make fresh salads. I mix bladder campions, spicy radishes, and crisp apples cut into thin slices.

The bladder campion

It is a perennial, spontaneous herb that can grow very tall. It has lance-shaped leaves with pointed ends and white flowers. And it is all edible.

It is found somewhat throughout Italy, but in Romagna, it is widespread.

Campion grows wild in meadows, at the edge of white roads, in old unpaved country hollows, and even pine woods. It is found in the hills of the Apennine areas and the countryside close to the sea.

I remember they grew abundantly in the fields of our countryside. So they were available whenever grandma wanted to cook them.

As a child, I used to leave for the beach with grandma in June. After a storm, we used to go to the pinewood to pick campion and pine nuts, which, thanks to the gale that shook the pine trees, fell to the ground along with the fragrant pine cones. And, of course, we picked those for the winter fireplace fire. At home, she used to cook a sauce for pasta. It is a typical and quick preparation that goes well with pasta and holiday time.

Campion blooms from spring to late summer. Even as late as October, depending on the season. So you have plenty of time to find them. Of course, you don’t have to go to the fields. You can buy them at the supermarket or a farmer’s market. Then, make this recipe full of flavor.


Bladder campion

Bladder campion risotto

It’s amazing how a humble herb can give so much taste to a risotto. It is a typical peasant recipe, one of my favorites among risotto dishes.

I still remember when, as a child, I used to go out to collect bladder campion. I still hear the recommendation not to pluck the plant, which, being perennial, one would leave to find it again the following year. Instead, I would pick leaves and flowers called bubbins. The leaves have an intense but sweet flavor that can remind one of peas or asparagus and do not lose their aroma even when cooked.

I haven’t gone out to harvest bladder campion for decades.

And I’m a little sorry I don’t have someone to pass on the knowledge of this herb. And the pleasure I used to feel when I was a child, picking that fragrant booty in the muffled silence of the pinewood, between light and shadow, almost stunned by the heady scent typical of woods after the storm. But then, who knows if I would still find the campion in the pine forests of Ravenna.

Buona cucina, Monica

Cook with me

Cooking with herbs is an ancient cuisine that many people are rediscovering. I am also among them. At the farmer’s market, l look for fresh, spontaneous, and aromatic herbs that remind me of flavors and memories. Grandma used to cook so many recipes with herbs. HERE I leave you the recipe for meatballs with wild herbs and ricotta cheese that you can make using arugula and spinach.

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Bladder campion risotto

Bladder campion risotto

Bladder campion risotto is a typical vegetarian recipe from Romagna. Easy to make, that risotto is full of taste.
Course First Course
Cuisine Emilia-Romagna
Keyword Bladder campion risotto
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 200 g of bladder campion
  • 2 shallots or 1/2 leek (white part) or 1 small onion
  • 30 g of olive oil
  • 30 g of butter
  • salt to taste
  • 1 l of vegetable stock or meat stock
  • 280 g of Carnaroli rice


  • Remove the hard end of the bladder campion stem, saving the leaves. Wash under running water.
  • Chop strigoli and shallots with a knife.
  • In a large pan, melt butter in oil over low heat, add shallots and strigoli, a pinch of salt, and sauté gently for 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the rice as well, pour in a ladleful or two of broth, and stir while cooking for two minutes before adding 1/2 liter of broth and salt. Follow the time indicated on the package of rice you are using for the cooking time. Stir occasionally and pour in more broth if it gets too dry.
  • When the rice is cooked but still al dente, turn off the heat, taste the risotto, and adjust the salt if needed. Let the risotto rest for two minutes before serving; if it seems too dry, add a few tablespoons of water or leftover broth.


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