Last night at Dinos I had my first taste of Agretti –  a grass like Mediterranean vegetable with thin succulent needle like leaves that grow on small bushy plants – in season now – it will not be around for long!

Expensive and highly prized by top chefs, agretti is difficult to get to seed, making it hard to come by. Grown in salt marshes – it  can also be grown without salt water but the seed does not store well, so it is available for a limited time in season.

It is used mainly in Umbria and Lazio in pasta, seafood and fish dishes – last night I had it with pasta.

I was keen to try it as it is reputedly rich in vitamins & minerals  – and my long lasting cold made me think I needed a boost to my immune system.

According to the experts it is best lightly boiled until the leaves soften but retain a little crunch, and eaten as a leafy vegetable or salad ingredient or garnish (much like Samphire).

It can also be eaten raw or braised in olive oil.

The flavour is grassy, salty and slightly sour and works well with seafood – and was delicious with my pasta.

Dinos Restaurant is in

Via Ghibellina, 47/49r                                                                                                                          50122 Florence

tel 055 241452