Thursday, March 11, 2010


Mid to late March is the season for this tasty, and somewhat unusual, green vegetable. It looks like chives or fat grass and is a favorite in Italy. Although I’ve never eaten agretti in the United States, apparently the agretti plant has become invasive along the coast of California.

Agretti is known as roscano or barba di frate. It’s an excellent source of vitamin A, iron and calcium. When mature (50 or so days) this plant is a 12 cm wide, 24 cm tall plant that looks like a huge chive. The flavor is mildly bitter, grassy and even sourish.

Agretti with an Olive Oil, Garlic & Lemon Dressing &/or Spicy Olive Oil Garlic Dressing

1/2 kilogram Agretti

1/4 Cup olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1 garlic clove

Salt to taste

1/4 Cup olive oil

1 peperoncino

1 garlic clove

Salt to taste

Clean the agretti by removing their roots and other reddish / white parts close to the root. As agretti grow in a sandy soil they must be washed repeatedly to ensure all the dirt, sand and grit is removed.

Boil the agretti until just tender crisp. Drain and serve as desired. I love a nice lemon garlic sauce, but the spicy garlic dressing is also tasty.

Agretti ready to serve

Cleaning agretti

Agretti (Salsola Soda) plant

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