Agretti with Olive Oil, Lemon and Garlic


It’s that time of year. Springtime. Agretti time!

When April rolls around, crates of this unique, grass-like succulent appear on grocery store shelves throughout Italy. Since agretti is seasonal, those of us who are crazy about it must cook it frequently for a few weeks – before it disappears until next year.

To me, agretti has a light, fresh taste – with a hint of spinach – and my favorite way to fix it is just plain simple.


Chop off the root ends and rinse the tops in fresh water. Place these grassy tops in an ample size pan and add water – about 1/2 inch deep in the pan. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until cooked through and limp. Drain off any excess water.

While the agretti is still hot, add a couple cloves of crushed garlic, the juice of one lemon and a generous pour – or two – of high quality olive oil. Toss in a few hot pepper flakes (optional) and stir well to distribute the garlic. Add sea salt to taste.

Serve warm or room temperature with a wedge of lemon. Delicious!



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