Agretti is a reputedly delicious vegetable, similar to samphire in its stranded form. Also known as salsola, it’s rare here in the UK but more common in Italy, where it’s seen as a fairly high-end ingredient served in good restaurants.
I bought a pack of seeds and noted the warning of poor germination rates and the seeds being fussy about needing low temperature to germinate (no problem in this country!). Without much confidence I sowed all the seeds in a tray. They look like the corky beetroot seeds and within days they were all sprouting.
Today, just two weeks after sowing, I planted the shoots out into a raised bed. About 150 of them in total. Each should form a stalk with succulent deep green grass-like threads coming off it. A dozen of them boiled and served with butter is delicious they say. And would cost a fortune here, even if you could find anywhere serving it. This is one harvest I’m really looking forward to.
UPDATE: See how the agretti looked seven weeks later ..
150 weeny stalky things planted out earns you marks for patience! Hope you are rewarded with a vast tasty crop!
Thank you Catkin. Yes it did take a while. If the crop doesn’t come good I’ll post a photo of a bunch of grass and just pretend!
I’m interested to know how you got on – I came across this post looking for instructions on growing samphire.
Thanks. I’ll post an update with a photograph shortly. The agretti has grown really well.
[…] wrong to be excited about a vegetable? I’m thrilled that the Agretti seedlings I nervously planted out seven weeks ago are now looking really strong in their raised bed. The exotic veg, rare in this country, are […]
[…] Anyway, the tiny twigs only need scattering and covering with a thin layer of compost and then it’s all about water: lots of salty water to mimic the beachy riverside environment in which marsh samphire normally thrives. If it comes up it can self-seed year after year so becomes a permanent samphire bed, just needing some protection over winter. I really hope it works; samphire is so delicious, better in my humble opinion than trendy but not-as-tasty agretti which I grew previously. […]