I take great pleasure in the fact that we moved back to Italy and moved into our new home as spring was coming into full bloom. The abundance of vegetables and the diversity is fantastic. I found agretti at the market which are strictly spring and will only be around for a few more weeks. One of the things that I love about agretti is how bizarre they are. They look like they grow at the bottom of the sea and taste like it too. They have a grass-like quality to them that I find very refreshing.
We ate these the way that we normally do, blanched and then sautéed with garlic and olive oil, but I made too much and ended up using what was leftover to make a frittata. Yum.
Agretti Saltati in Padella
- 1 or 2 large bunches of agretti, washed thoroughly
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
- 1 peperoncino (small chili pepper, optional)
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
Clean the greens by cutting off the woody red root and leaving the tender grass-like leaves, wash thoroughly with several changes of water, these mothers are filthy. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the greens’ initial cooking, bring to a rolling boil. Add greens and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain in a colander.
Heat oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat and add the whole cloves of garlic and peperoncino. When garlic starts to sizzle add boiled greens and sauté for about 10 minutes.
Greens can either be served hot or at room temperature. Great as side dish.
To make a frittata with the leftovers, mix with 3 eggs and a few tbsp of grated parmigiano reggiano.
Beat the eggs, toss in the parmigiano and agretti, strained of any water, combine. When it is well blended add it to a non-stick pan with the two tablespoons of oil in it. Heat the pan to a low to medium flame. cover for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick.
Place a plate on top of the pan and reverse the frittata so it falls onto the plate, you can also do this with the pan’s lid if it is fairly flat and not bowl-like. Slip the frittata back into the pan and cook the other side for about 10 minutes, until it browns.
Transfer the frittata onto a plate that is lined with paper towels to soak up the oil, sprinkle with salt and place paper towels on top, pressing with your hands to soak up any additional oil.
It is best served at room temperature, but still tasty hot if you can’t resist.
Three Years Ago: Red Beans and Rice, Ziti with Artichokes and Swordfish, Black Bean Enchiladas with Green Sauce, Spaghetti all’Amatriciana, Mediterranean Beet and Yogurt Salad, Marion Square Farmers Market, Charleston, SC, Collard Greens alla Italiana & Baked Fish in Salsa di Agrumi