Agretti! It’s what’s for dinner…in Tuscany!

Agretti.  Also known as “Monk’s Beard.” It’s not well-known outside of Tuscany.  But, today, I’m sharing a spring-time secret that Lulu and I enjoy here in Arezzo – with you – wherever you are!


Don’t imagine that if you’re in Tuscany during the spring you’ll readily come across Agretti. In fact, some quite smart American expat friends of mine who have lived here for many years and are fluent in the language and most of the customs, had never heard of it before.  But, I was fortunate enough to be taught about this springtime delicacy from the terrific sorelle, or sisters, who run the small bottega known as “Frutta a Go-Go.”  Love that name.


Marianna and Gioanna encouraged me to buy Agretti for the first time last spring.  The Mediterranean plant looks like a blend of chives and Kentucky bluegrass to me. You can buy it fresh, loose and in handfuls from the market or pre-packaged in grocery stores like I did yesterday.


It’s easy to prepare.  Here are all the ingredients I used from my kitchen as le sorelle told me to simply boil it in salted water just like pasta, then drain and drizzle with olive oil – extra virgin, ma certo!


In just about three or four minutes, drain it, place it on a platter, sprinkle it with a little extra sale grosso and olio oliva and ecco!  You have a fresh-spring tasting accompaniment to any April or May meal.


Look around in Italian or specialty grocers near you.  Agretti is worth the search.


Buon appetito! (…piatto pulito as Lulu would add!)



 P.S. Have you ever cooked Agretti?  Ever heard of it? What recipe did you use? Would love to hear from you!

 And, of course, for more stories of the wonderful food of Tuscany, you’re invited to buy my new book, “Because I’m Small Now and You Love Me” – adventures between me and Lulu here in Arezzo!  A must for any one who loves traveling and children – but not necessarily traveling with children. 😉


8 thoughts on “Agretti! It’s what’s for dinner…in Tuscany!

  1. Dearest Gina I absolutely love the book. Just received it from Amazon. A couple from the 7th floor asked of you and LULU by name last week but unfortunately i have forgotten their names. Spring has sprung in Paris finally and the french are smiling their one of two genuine smiles. The other is the last week of July, just before packing for the great exodus. Love Almeta


    1. Ciao, dear Almeta. I am so honored that you bought the book- and even more delighted that you’re enjoying it. Thank you! Hmmm. From the 7th floor. Did our building even go that high?! 😉 There was a very nice lady and her son who lived above – and I want to say she was originally from some Spanish-speaking country.. Also there was a nice couple the floor below us that we actually met when they originally complained that Lulu was crying too loudly on a Sunday morning.. 😉 Maybe they moved upstairs…

      Anyway, always, always, so nice to hear from you. I have so many wonderful memories from that year in Paris. Square Lambert is featured in the book. Have you read that chapter yet?
      Love, g


  2. Oh almost forgot; My favorite italian green is Chicory served hot or cold drizzled with olive oil. I think perhaps it is an autumn specialty. Yummmmmmm. Almeta


    1. Yumm! That sounds great! I love greens of all kinds. Scotty makes a delicious home-made pasta dish that, when we lived in the US, he used to put mustard greens in. Now we substitute ruccola and it’s also delicious!


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