Wild Plant Guide

WHAT IS BLACK NIGHTSHADE (stifno), HOW TO EAT?

This herb known as Istifno in Turkey and Stifno in Greece; It belongs to Solanums, an important taxon of the Solanaceae family of potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants. Some parts of this herb ( unripe fruits), whose English name is “black nightshade” in Latin, “Solanum nigrum”, may be poisonous.

Benefits: Black nightshade has been used for stomach irritation, cramps, spasms, pain, and nervousness. Some people apply black nightshade directly to the skin for a skin condition called psoriasis, hemorrhoids, and deep skin infections.

How does it taste? Leaves of the Stifno, which have a slightly bitter mustard flavor, becomes very delicious when combined with lemon, garlic, zucchini and tomatoes. Stifno, which is consumed very frequently especially on the island of Crete in Greece, is boiled with the crete zucchini ( a.k.a summer round squash) and eaten by pouring tomato sauce on it. The leaves and tender shoots are boiled in the same way as spinach.
The ripe black berries of the plant are described as sweet and salty, with hints of liquorice and melon.

I like eating stifno leaves by making crete style salad or sometimes fritters.

Simply remove and wash the leaves of 1 armful of stifno, mix 2 grated zucchini, a large grated onion, salt, peppermint, paprika and 3 tablespoons of ground flax seed in water. You can add very little flour if you need it. But don’t overdose, otherwise it shadows the taste of weed.
In the pan, fry in olive oil and serve with tomatoes. Enjoy!

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