In Spring, agretti is all the rage in Italy! Agretti is a vibrant green, succulent plant, native to the Mediterranean basin. It has a crisp texture and salty-sweet flavor. This is a simple Italian Agretti recipe that you can make at home!
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The Quest for Agretti (Salsola Soda) in the United States
In the United States, finding agretti can be a bit of a treasure hunt, owing to its relatively low profile in American cuisine. However, with an increasing interest in diverse and global food experiences, agretti is slowly carving out a niche for itself.
Farmers’ markets, particularly those in regions with a strong Italian-American presence such as the Northeast and Midwest, are an excellent place to find agretti, especially during its peak season in the spring. Specialty and gourmet grocery stores may also stock agretti, often in the international or fresh produce sections.
Or, Grow Agretti Yourself!
Online platforms are another reliable source for finding agretti seeds or plants. Websites dedicated to heirloom and exotic plants often have agretti available, especially in the early spring when the planting season begins. It’s also worth reaching out to local gardening clubs or horticultural societies, as they may have members who grow agretti and are willing to share seeds or cuttings.
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Italian Agretti Recipe (Salsola Soda)
- 1 bunch agretti cleaned
- 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 pinch fine salt or to taste
- 1 pinch black pepper or to taste; you can also use red chili pepper
- coarse salt for the blanching the agretti in water
- First, clean the agretti by cutting off the roots and rinsing the plant thoroughly under cold running water. Agretti grows in sandy soil, so make sure to wash it well to remove all traces of grit.1 bunch agretti
- After rinsing, blanch the agretti in a pot of boiling salted water for about 2-3 minutes, until it's bright green and slightly tender. Don't overcook it, as it should maintain some of its crunchiness.coarse salt
- Drain the agretti well, and let it cool slightly. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic to the skillet and sauté until it's fragrant but not browned.3 tbsp olive oil, 2 cloves garlic
- Add the blanched agretti to the skillet, stirring well to coat it in the garlic-infused oil. Sauté the mixture for a few more minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
- Finally, remove the skillet from the heat, and squeeze the lemon juice over the sautéed agretti. Toss it well, and season with salt and pepper to taste.1 lemon, 1 pinch black pepper, 1 pinch fine salt
- Serve the agretti warm as a side dish, or use it as a base for grilled fish or chicken. Be sure to drizzle on a little extra cold extra virgin olive oil for its taste and health benefits!It's also excellent when tossed with pasta or added to a frittata.