In Street Food on Palermo is the Frittella, an authentic Sicilian recipe

April is the month of the “pesce d’aprile” literally ‘fish of April’ but in the other parts of the world it is known as the April fool’s day. the 1st of April, the day of pranks in which all jokes have to be accepted and laughed at.

The prank is not the only reason why April is so popular, it is the beginning of spring: flowers design the Sicilian landscape and fresh agriculture products give their best this month, above all fava beans, artichokes and peas.

Sicilian Street Food. So many good things to eat

They do not simply grow together but they are also the protagonist of one of the most famous Sicilian recipe, called Frittella. In italian ‘frittella’ sounds like something fried, but actually there is nothing fried nor unhealthy about the Frittella. It is based entirely on fresh vegetables, the two main protagonists, fava beans and artichokes plus peas, salt, pepper and rigorously extra virgin olive oil.

Basic, genuine and nutritious, the Frittella is really loved by the local people, its apparent simplicity highlights the flavour of the fresh and seasonal ingredients. Don’t try to cook it with dry ingredients, it will never be the same. The artichoke is a typical Mediterranean plant, its english name come from the neo latin word Articactus and its italian name, Carciofo, comes from the arabic word Harsciof.

Some say it was born in Sicily, probably some species, in fact there are currently many species of it all around the Mediterranean sea, the most popular in Sicily are called Verde di Palermo and Spinoso di Menfi, both very common in all west Sicily. It is said that the frittella started being cooked in the period of time where the Greeks where in Sicily, so more or less from the 7th to 3rd century b.C.

If you want enjoy the Frittella, you need to come to Sicily or, at least go to a Mediterranean area where the main ingredients can be found fresh, not dry nor preserved.
Do you want to cook it? Here is the Frittella original Sicilian recipe.

Ingredients for 4-6 people:

  • Artichokes: 4
  • Fava beans: 200 gr. / 0.44 pound
  • Peas: 150 gr / 0.33 pound
  • Onion: 1
  • Garlic: 1 clove
  • Chili pepper: one little peace
  • Salt
  • Wine vinegar
  • Sugar: 3 spoons
  • Fresh wild fennel
  • mint, oregano, Thyme

 

Process:

Clean and cut the artichoke into small slices. Put garlic and onion in a pot to brown, then add the artichoke and mix them with a low flame, than add the fava beans and the peas and fry them softly for a couple of minutes. After this, fill up the pot with hot water and add some wild fennel and salt. Put a lid on top and then let the ingredients. In the meantime melt the sugar in the wine vinegar and when the ingredients are cooked remove the lid, put the sweet vinegar and enhance the flame for a few minutes. Turn the fire off, add the aromas and let it rest for 2 hours before serving.