|Agretti della Bacchanalia|
Interested as always in ordering a contorno of some type of veggie to go along with our meat and pasta filled day, we asked our waiter what kind of seasonal vegetables he had to offer. Naturally, his response included the usual grilled veggies and mixed salad, but then he threw a curve ball at us. When we expected either spinach or cicoria (Dandelion greens), he said the restaurant did not have any, but then he mentioned a springtime green, Agretti, that confused us and intrigued us. We clearly had never heard of it before, so we asked for an explanation of what the green was, and all we really understood was that it was kind of like spinach, but not really, it was delicious, and would come dressed in oil, garlic and lemon. Okay, si, prendiamo gli agretti!
Fabulous choice might I say...
Why I love Agretti,
|Agretti della Nonna|
I had never cooked them for myself because I discovered them too late in the spring last year and I left for Boston pretty soon after the discovery. But, just two weeks ago the little bushy, cartoon hair-like green vegetables had infiltrated all of the markets of Bologna and boy was I excited! The possibilities with Agretti are endless. You can eat them raw in a salad, you can boil them, sautee them or steam them. My recent use of them has been boiled, at the same time as my pasta, in the same pot and I end up with a nice salty dish of pasta and agretti (the agretti are naturally rather salty). Another option is to actually substitute pasta with the agretti, they could pose as a healthy pasta for they have a similar shape and adding sauce and other goodies to them would just increase their potential. Or -- just eat them as my Nonna served them, simple and delicious, dressed with lemon, oil and garlic.
|Agretti della Liuccia! Gramigna con Agretti|
As you can see, possibilities are endless. Now, we only need to get the exported to the states so America can see the beauty behind this delicious green.
Main point is: find agretti and try them please!