Genoese preboggion: what is it and how to use it for cooking
Here we are with the second episode of our section dedicate to the flavours of Liguria “Let’s hear the Chef”.
After the one about Cappon Magro (here is the article), we would now like to speak about a Ligurian recipe less known: Genoese Preboggion!
what’s genoese Preboggion?
Prebuggiun (or Preboggion) is a mixture of wild edible herbs that are reaped, boiled and served together. The term comes from Ligurian dialect and comes probably from the verb Preboggî (in Genoese) which means “to boil before”.
There is also a legend that tries to explain the origin of its name. The popular belief is that the name Prebuggiun comes from a story that goes back to the crusade. During the siege of Jerusalem some vassals of Goffredo Buglione picked up herbs for making the soup for him and his troops (from Latin Buglionis). Here the term Preboggion, from the Latin “pro Buglionis”, which means for Buglione.
Afterall it does not matter the origin, what matters is that once prepared this mixture of herbs, becomes a fresh and flavoured compound, that can be used as a side dish sauce or as filling for Pansoti, a special kind a filled dough, traditional of our region.
Genoese Preboggion, the recipe
Before giving you the recipe, we must point out that as this dish is a mix a several herbs cannot have one, fixed recipe. This can change according to the season and to the area in which it is prepared. In spring time you will not find the same herbs of wintertime; the same goes if you take them on the hills of the inner lands or by the seaside. The herbs variety will definitely not be the same
So, one of its unique characteristics is that preboggion can have a different taste depending on the season or on the part of the region in which you are. The recipe here below is one of the possible recipe existent.
Wild herbs : Reichardia picroides (or galatsida), Pimpinella anisum (anise), Erythronium dens-canis (dog’s-tooth-violet), Campanula rapunculus (rampion bellflower), wild chard (Beta vulgaris), nettle, dandelion, parsley, wild fennel, etc.
Clean the herbs, keeping aside the parsley and the wild fennel, which need to be added raw afterwards. Boil the others for 3-4 minutes in very hot water. Drain the mix and add the raw herbs. It is important not to overboil the herbs, or they will become more like a cream. At this point Preboggion is ready to be used in different ways.
Genoese Preboggion, how to use it
One of the main ways to use Preboggion is as filling of Pansoti. It is a filled pasta similar to ravioli, but much bigger and with no meat in it. In this case to obtain the perfect filling for the Pansoti, the Chef add to Preboggion, olive oil eggs and cheese.
In the winter months, what is better than a healthy minestrone? (Minestrone it is a typical Genoese vegetable soup). To prepare it “Ligurian Style” we suggest to use together with Preboggion also rice and basil sauce (mainly basil prepared with mortar and pestle without adding pine nuts), to add at the end of the cooking, raw.
Preboggion and potatoes
Genoese Preboggion can be used as side dish and add to vegetables. For example, with potatoes, that need to be slightly boiled and mixed with the herbs. We suggest to cook them inside a pan with garlic and olive oil to obtain an even more tasty.
Stringoli with Preboggion
In case you would like to prepare something really original, you can challenge yourself with a dish created by our Chefs : Stringoli with Preboggion, shrimps and mushrooms. See the recipe in this video!