Soon it will be spring again, and maybe we’ll be tempted to go to Florence to have a walk in the centre, looking at marvellous shop windows and strolliong up and down along tiny streets and markets, to breathe that amazing air that smells of spring, when fhe sun warms the air and gives it a golden glow.
This is the right time to mingle with the Florentines and eat one of the most famous street food in town: the panino al lampredotto (reed tripe or Abomasum sandwich). Lampredotto or reed is a kind of tripe, darker with a more intense taste. It is boiled in broth and put in a sandwich with salsa verde (green sauce) or – more recently – with a spicy sauce. The bread used is the typical semelle (also known as semellino) and on request it can be soaked into reed broth.
I asked aunt Silvana for the recipe: years ago she was thinking about opening a trippaio dock at the market, so who better than aunt Silvana could give me the recipe?
- reed tripe, 500 gr
- carrot, 1
- celery, 2 stalks
- ripe tomatoes, 2
- red onion, 1/2
Ingredients to make Mum’s green sauce:
- plenty of parsley
- boiled egg, 1
- pickled capers, 1 handful
- bread soaked in white vinegar, 2 slices
- garlic, 1 clove
- extra virgin olive oil
Rinse reed tripe under cold running water and place it in a pot filled up to 3/4 of water with carrot, celery (because hey, that’s what gives the flavor! – says Aunt Silvana), tomatoes, onion and a handful of coarse salt. Bring to the boil and let simmer on low heat for at least an hour, being careful thatit doesn’t finish all the water.
Meanwhile make the salsa verde. Put an egg in a saucepan with water and boil it until the egg is done. Let it cool. Soak the bread in water and vinegar and squeeze well. Chop the parsley to the knife with the hard boiled egg, a clove of garlic, capers and soaked bread. Put all chopped ingredients in a bowl and pour plenty of extra virgin olive oil, mix well and add salt and pepper.
To prepare the reed tripe sandwich, remove reed tripe from the broth and slice it thinly. Open the sandwich and fill it with reed tripe, season with plenty of salt and ground black pepper and a generous spoonful of salsa verde.
Pay attention while eating your sandwich: the green sauce and the oil will be dripping from all sides, but that’s the beauty of lampredotto sandwich!
Obviously lampredotto can also be eaten sitting at table in a proper dish, seasoned with salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil or with green sauce, enriched by some pickles.
Let me make a clarification: the bread in the picture is not the well known semelle, a round olive oil sandwich. When I decided to cook lampredotto I forgot to buy the proper bread and at home I had only multicerale bread done with my bread machine. Since it was Saturday night and all the shops were closed, so tried to find a solution!
I was in a pub and at 11pm and I asked the waitress, with an air of dumb naive, a sandwich, empty. The waitress looked at me wide-eyed, then continued the round of orders. At the end she asked me again: are you sure? empty? don’t you want anything inside? And I, innocent as a little child: no no, that’s okay, thanks! To cut a long story short, instead of semelle I used a baguette cut in half and toasted … it is not the same, but the lampredotto was good anyway!