Agretti with Olive Oil, Lemon and Garlic

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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.

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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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