The agretti begin to appear on the vegetable stalls around March, since they are typically a spring vegetable. They should be chosen according to their color, which is bright green, while the closest part to the roots is white and red. The trunk is full of water, thin, slightly flat: for cooking use only the younger plants. Even if kept in the fridge they deteriorate easily, so agretti should be eaten within a few days.They must be washed very carefully, and the nearest part to the roots, where the green color fades, it should be cut off.
They can be boiled, depending on personal taste and size, from fifteen minutes on, but the best would be to steam cooking, because you can keep the nutritional properties. The agretti have a slightly bitter taste, can be served as a side dish salad, simply dressed with olive oil, to which you can add lemon; they are also perfect as an ingredient in richer salads, with tomatoes, or accompanied by anchovies and boiled eggs. The agretti can also be a great sauce for short pasta, with other vegetables or some cheese: simply boil them first and then pass it in the pan with the other ingredients chosen.
Here we see them served as a side dish with piglet’s coppa, a recipe from the menu of the restaurant Al Callianino (Via Adige 46, Montecchia – 045 617 5906). We recommend pairing this dish with Soave Classico Bine Longhe.