If when you think Puglia, you think fish, well you could also think wild herbs … in fact you could think Borage!

I had gone to track down the chef Beppe Zullo at his restaurant/cookery school inland of Foggia in Orsara di Puglia; “simple food for intelligent people” is his thing, and this recipe checks all my boxes.
So, instead of trying to make Parmigiana di melanzane when the aubergines are out of season and tasteless (which for most of us is all year round, with the exception of August); let’s make it using wild, seasonal, unbelievably good borage!!

Ingredients for 4 people:

g 500 tomato passata
g 250 borage leaves
g 200 caciocavallo cheese
2 eggs
g 100 grated cheese (parmesan, pecorino or canestrato which is a mixed sheep/goat’s cheese)
1 garlic clove
Extra virgin olive oil
Borage flowers

Heat the olive oil with the whole garlic clove, remove the garlic and add the passata, salt to taste, bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes until reduced.
Collect wild (or your local farmers’ market may have it); wash the borage leaves, pat dry.
Whisk the eggs with a fork and dash of salt.
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Dip each borage leaf into the egg mix and quickly fry.
In an oven dish start by covering the bottom with passata, then layer the borage leaves and thinly sliced caciocavallo-type cheese; then borage, cheese, passata. You need at least 4 layers and should finish with passata on top and a sprinkling of grated cheese.
Put in the oven at 180 °C for 20 minutes.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh borage flowers.

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