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Vegetarian Italian Recipes: Ancient Roman Cuisine

Ancient Romans used to eat three meals a day. The jentaculum, was basically Ancient Romans' breakfast, mainly based on bread, cheese, milk, fruit and honey.

The lunch, called prandium, was a quick meal, made of fish, bread, fruit, legumes, and wine.
Dinner was the main meal of the day. During the coena, Ancient Romans used to eat on the triclinaria. The most important ingredient of their cuisine was the garum, a kind of brine, that probably replaced salt and that was very expensive.

Ancient romans cusine

One of the most interesting fact about Ancient Roman cuisine, is that meat did not constitute the main ingredient of their recipes. Animals, such as cows, were important to grow the land. Meat was also more expensive, and appeared on Roman tables only later, among the richest families.

This is the reason why traditional Roman cuisine is so rich of vegetarian recipes. Among our favorites there’s the so called Vignarola, a mix of tasty veggies cooked with olive oil and onion.

Ingredients for 4 people

2 Roman Artichokes
300gr peeled peas
300 gr peeled fava bean
200gr Roman lettuce
2 spring onions
2 spoons extra virgin olive oil
black pepper

Cut spring onions into pieces. In a large pot add the oil and the onion. Cook on a low heath until the onions become transparent.
Finely slice the lettuce and trim the artichokes by removing the external leaves and the points. Them cut them into four sections. Add the lettuce and the artichokes to the onions. Add salt and black pepper according to taste.

Cover the pot and let cook on a very low heath for around 10 minutes. Add some water if necessary.

After 10 minutes, add the shelled fava beans and the peas. Cook for around 20 minutes. Cooking time depends on the freshness of the vegetables. 20 minutes is an indicative time.

When your dish is ready, serve it warm!


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