There is an Italian spirit stalking this land. I mean it. The freshness, the tv, the string cheese, it’s not Spanish, it’s Italian. Okay maybe it’s Mexican but I am reminded again and again of Italy and of things I experienced with my Italian-American parents and grandparents. In the Etla market, Lourdes, our guide and faithful family cook, pointed us to an unassuming bunch of greens in amongst the cilantro, epozote, and hoya de santa. I thought at the time Lourdes was telling Bonnie and I it would make a wonderful Salsa Verde. I later learned she meant it would go well served with a Salsa Verde but that it was a dish unto itself. We took a taste and were delightly by it’s lemony and slightly sweet flavor. We learned it was called verdolagas.

Once home, we gave it a quick but thorough wash, put some onion, garlic and salt in a pot of water, threw the verdolagas in after separating out some of the thicker stems, and cooked it about 15 minutes, until it had wilted and fade to a pale green. It was deliscous undressed like this.

But as promised by Lourdes, it was delectable with some Salsa Verde. It was also delicate and tender enough to be eaten uncooked, in a tomatoe salad, or with avocado or mixed with other greens. And apparently it grows wild everywhere. We want to get some for the garden here.

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