10 March 2012

Agretti


We're in Beausoleil market today - so near to Italy that it's no surprise to find signs for produce written in Italian. This is Agretti - looks like grass, doesn't it? In fact it's a tender succulent, native to the Mediterranean. It's also known as Barba di Frate (Monk's Beard) and in English, Barilla Plant, Opposite Leaved Saltwort or Russian Thistle.

Frances Mayes, author of the wonderful Bella Tuscany, wrote of this plant: 'Spinach is the closest taste, but while agretti has the mineral sharpness of spinach, it tastes livelier, full of the energy of spring.'

Remove the roots, steam for 5 minutes, and serve still slightly warm with some olive oil and lemon or prepare fettucine and mix with fresh chopped agretti, lemon and oil.

5 comments:

Catherine said...

I love spinach so will look forward to trying this.........

Anonymous said...

Never heard about "agretti"!
Must keep my eyes open next time. Maybe one restaurant has it on the menue card with fettucine. Would like to try!
Barbara from Germany

Cathy Hudspeth said...

Very interesting! Thanks - I learned something new today already.

Madge Bloom said...

Looks a bit like chives... I love farmers' markets too...

Gailsman said...

Not a vegetable that I've ever heard of, and I doubt my local greengrocers or supermarket would stock it. Be interested to try some sometime though

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