In my last post a made reference to Old Man’s Beard/Clematis Vitalba shoots being edible and being eaten here in Tuscany. Not to leave any stone unturned I thought I should at least give it a go and report back…

The edible bit of the plant is the new growing shoot, so I picked those from the hedgerow.

A picture of a basket containing clematis shoots and 2 eggs
The ingredients – I actually used 4 eggs but there were only 2 in the hen house when I picked the shoots

I went with this very simple recipe for a frittata.

  • You boil a pan of water with some salt.
  • Blanche the clematis shoots by adding them to the water and removing them again when it gets back to the boil.
  • Heat some oil in a frying pan.
  • Add the clematis shoots, salt, pepper and then your beaten eggs
a non stick friyng plan with a clematis shoot frittata cooking
All in the pan
  • Cook until the egg is cooked through.
  • Turn out on a plate
a cooked omlette turned out onto a plate
Turned out

It looks good doesn’t it?

It was pretty tasty too.

The shoots bordered on the bitter and we did wonder if it was a little late in the year and they’d be sweeter and a little more fleshy earlier in spring.

It was good enough to want to try it again next year when hopefully we’d get the ‘youthful freshness’ promised by the recipe rather than ‘aged bitterness’. I exaggerate a little but if you’ve ever tried to stretch swiss chard plants late into the year, you’ll get my drift!

If you give it a go, do let me know what you think.

Do be a little careful and don’t over do it as the clematis does contain a ‘toxin’ common to the Ranuncolacee family, although it is lowest in the new shoots and you’d need to eat an awful lot.

All the very best ’til next time,

Tess xxx

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