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my wander around natoora’s website, when i recently bought burrata threw up various intriguing ingredients, one of which was agretti.

also known as monk’s beard or barba dei frati, it is a marsh grass and has a crunchy texture, a tart flavour (very green, a bit like spinach but also with a definite hint of the sea) and is something i’ve never used before. there are various skye gyngell recipes online where she boils it briefly and then adds to salads, uses it to top a mushroom bruschetta or serves it alongside fish or grilled meat.

i ran out of time to use it fresh so decided to try her other suggestion- pickled aggreti, which she recommends having with cured meats or carpaccio.

preparing the pickled agretti is simple – any damaged leaves are discarded along with the woody stems, it is then rinsed, packed into a jar and covered with vinegar (i used a cider vinegar) and once sealed is left in a cool dark place for two weeks. i’m halfway through those two weeks…

btw - the photo is a bit crazy as i couldn't stop getting reflections. it's the sky, some trees and the top of my garden fence that you can see at the top of the jar!

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