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Agretti (Barba di frate / Salsola Soda / Saltwort – read more here) are a special vegetable only sold in Italy in early Spring. As I never saw them in Brussels, I bought some with me when I recently went home for Easter.

Agretti have a very strong detox effect and are very rich in vitamin A, B and C and they contain different mineral salts, specifically potassium, magnesium, iron and calcium. This plant also has very little calories content: 17 calories for 100 grams!

I cooked them, but you can easily eat them raw.


For 2 persons:

A bunch of agretti

A handful of taggiasche olives (or any olives)

1 Fresh chilli pepper, sliced


Extra virgin olive oil




Clean the agretti, cutting the roots and the red parts. In a pot bring some water to boil, add salt and the agretti and cook for approx 5 minutes. Remove from the water and drain well. (If you wish you can skip the boiling and cook them directly in a pan for 15 minutes). In a pan warm up a couple of tablespoons olive oil, add the chilli pepper and the assafetida. Add the agretti, savour with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes. Add the olives and serve hot.

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