The cruski (pronounced crussh-ki) peppers of Senise (Basilicata), probably arrived with the Spanish from the Antilles, are a source of pride for the cuisine of the region, a surprise for those who discover them, an essential confirmation for those who know them already. The peppers are harvested from July until September when they reach a deep red color. After harvesting, the peppers are strung into large garlands decorating the streets of city centers. After 30 days drying, they are ready to eat, so…

Just fry cruski peppers of Senise in extra virgin olive oil until the skin becomes deep brick red with a soft leather!

Take a few seconds in hot oil and enjoy the crunchy and the savoury of these excellent snack and appetizer.

Simple dish, simple flavor of simple people of Basilicata…simple way to get luck and live for a long time…

“Mazz e panell, fann i fegl’ bell.” (dialect of Lucania)

or “Spanking and sweets make the children grow!”

This saying from Lucania teaches us how education, even a strict one, is important to build our character.

bruschetta (garlic bread)

In Lucania, to celebrate the first olive oil of the season, they make this simple bruschetta, a simply grilled bread, rubbed with a garlic clove, drizzled with the best extra virgin olive oil you have, and then sprinkled with coarse sea salt. You won’t believe how great it is! Taste it washed down with a good glass of chilled wine!

Difficulty: easy – Preparation time: 2 min
Cooking time: 5 min – Cost: very low

1 loaf bakery bread
2 whole garlic cloves
extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt

Slice the bread into 1 inch slices. Grill on each side.

Take a clove of garlic and rub it against the crusty surface of the slices. If the slices have been properly grilled, the garlic will wear down in seconds, like you were rubbing it against sand paper.
Add a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil over the slices.
Season with coarse sea salt.

endive, cruski peppers and chickpeas

Just endive, cruski peppers and chickpeas.

A wonderful and simple dish in Lucania. Economic recipe with simple ingredients but tasty and full-bodied, suitable for cold days!

Difficulty: low – Preparation time: 15 min – Cooking time: 25 min – Serves: 4 people – Cost: very low

Ingredients: 1 head of endive – 2 cruski peppers – 2/3 cup boiled chickpeas – 2 cloves of garlic – 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil – parsley – salt and pepper to taste

Preparation: In a large pot put garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Add the endive cut into large pieces. Cook for a 5 minutes, until it is wilted. Then add the chickpeas and cruski peppers finely chopped. A pinch of salt, pepper and a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook for at least 20 minutes. Now enjoy on toasted bread!

cruski peppers and potatoes

Cruski peppers and potatoes is one of the most representative dishes of Lucania. To prepare this tasty side dish you use dried peppers, sweet red peppers of Senise, a little town in the south of Lucania. The side dish can accompany red meat or fish, such as cod. The cruski peppers are a true delicacy of Lucania, a really genuine snack. There is nothing remotely equivalent!

Difficulty: very low – Preparation time: 15 min – Cooking time: 30 min – Serves: 4 people – Cost: very low

Ingredients: 2 cups potatoes – ½ cup cruski peppers – extra virgin olive oil – salt to taste.

Preparation: Boiling the potatoes for 10 minutes, then peel the potatoes and cut into thick slices about half a cm and keep aside. Place a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a pan and fry the cruski peppers a few seconds: the time to swell and take on a bright red. Drain the cruski peppers, cut them into pieces and keep aside. Now cook about 15 minutes the sliced ​​potatoes in the same pan and the same cooking oil peppers. Season with salt and add the chopped cruski peppers. Serve immediately.

fried wild onions

Fried wild onions (lampascioni) are another ancient flavors of Lucania. They resemble small onions, but with the onions have nothing to do. Bitter and sweet at the same time, as Lucania and its inhabitants. It’s a really delicious dish and comes even from an old recipe handed down from generation to generation.

Once tried, never forgotten!

They are a local specialty, to taste boiled (seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper), roasted with the skin, fried in batter, in omelet with eggs and cheese, and simply fried.

Difficulty: very low – Preparation time: 10 min – Cooking time: 10 min – Serves: 4 people – Cost: very low

Ingredients: 20 wild onions (lampascioni): extra virgin olive oil for frying – salt and pepper to taste

Preparation: Peel and clean the wild onions and wash them in abundant water. To remove the excess of bitter it would be better to leave them for a whole night in fresh water and rinse the next day. Make incisions on the sides and dry. As soon as the extra virgin olive oil is hot dip. You will see the wild onions turn into a flower opening. As soon as they became flat and golden, put them to drain on paper towels. Serve hot sprinkled with a little salt and pepper. They are excellent as an aperitif.

Today I want to show you one of the most typical cuisine from Lucania, simple and quick to prepare. Cruski peppers give the dish the ancient flavors of Lucania, tipycal of rural people.

Try ande taste it!

Difficulty: easy – Preparation time: 20 min – Cooking time: 10 min – Serves: 4 people – Cost: low

Ingredients: 3/2 cup of cavatelli (handmade pasta with Grano Senatore Cappelli) – 1/3 cup of breadcrumbs (italian bread) – ¼ cup of cruski peppers – 4 tablespoons of olive oil – 4 tablespoons cacioricotta grated – 1 pinch of salt

Preparation: Boil 2,5 liters of water with salt and cook cavatelli for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cover the bottom of a pan with a little oil and when hot fry the peppers previously cleaned with a damp cloth. Allow to brown for a few seconds, then drain and place in a dish. Blend the bread coarsely. In a pan heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toast the breadcrumbs until golden brown. Set aside. Drain cavatelli, add the mixture and toss with the toasted breadcrumbs. If you taste, finish the dish with grated cacioricotta and enjoy….