It just so happens that last week at the market I stumbled upon an ingredient I’d never heard of.

As per usual, I got intensely interested. I wanted to learn everything there was to know about this strange green grass called “agretti” and figure out the perfect way to showcase it. I asked the farmer how she cooks it, I searched the internet for recipes (there are a few), and I did my own research.

Salmon Over Linguine with Agretti | Things I Made Today

Before we get into the recipe, let’s talk about what agretti actually is.

Salmon Over Linguine with Agretti | Things I Made Today

Agretti is a rare Italian leafy green with a short harvesting season (late spring/early summer). It can be difficult to find, but your best bet is a farmer’s market or an Italian specialty store. In Italian, it’s also known as “Barba di frate” (which translates to “monk’s beard”) due to its thick but stringy texture. Eaten raw, agretti has a grassy and slightly acidic flavor. In Italian cuisine, it’s often tossed into salads or lightly cooked in olive oil.

Salmon Over Linguine with Agretti | Things I Made Today

What seemed to be the common factor among all my sources is that agretti shines when cooked just until softens and then tossed with a little lemon juice.

Salmon Over Linguine with Agretti | Things I Made Today

Since it was my first time cooking with the ingredient, I didn’t want to stray too far from recommendations. I know, how unlike me to follow directions.

Salmon Over Linguine with Agretti | Things I Made Today

And so what more perfect way to introduce an Italian ingredient than to pair it with pasta and fish?

Salmon Over Linguine with Agretti
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 8 oz linguine pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1½ pound wild salmon fillets, skin on
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6 oz agretti, thick or yellow stems removed, then coarsely chopped
  • zest and juice of ½ a medium sized lemon
  • ½ cup Parmesan, grated
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain water and run pasta under cold water to stop cooking. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Season salmon filets with salt and pepper. Add salmon, skin side down, to pan and cook for about 6 minutes. Flip and cook on other side for 1-2 minutes longer, until salmon is cooked through. Transfer fish to plate and cover with foil while preparing agretti.
  3. In the same pan, add an additional tablespoon of olive oil. Add garlic and tomatoes and cook until garlic becomes fragrant, about 3 minutes. Toss is agretti and cook until it softens, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice and zest. Add pasta to pan and mix well. Stir in Parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve salmon over pasta.

 

For the past two years, I’ve had the pleasure of working from home.

When it was time for lunch, it was a matter of slipping into the kitchen and reheating leftovers, frying up some gyoza, or defrosting a spoonful of pesto and spreading it on a grilled cheese. There was lots of grilled cheese.

Artichoke, Cucumber, Fennel, and Radish Salad | Things I Made Today

But I realize that lots of people have to actually leave their home to go to work (OMG this is going to be me soon – more on that later), and there is nothing worse than the sad desk lunch. You know, the type of limp lettuce and turkey sandwich you inhale over your keyboard while responding to “Please advise” emails. read the rest »

After being out of town for the last two weekends, I was pretty happy to get back to the market this Saturday.

I was crossing my fingers that the rainy forecast was going to pass, which it did, and it ended up being a perfectly humid day to walk around the Capitol square. We also had visitors in town—my parents and grandfather came up to Madison to say hello to Theo (grandfather for the first time). With four generations to carry home vegetables, we could have gotten a lot more, but I restrained myself this week knowing that I’ve been grossly overbuying lately.

Farmer's Market/CSA Series {Week 2} | Things I Made Today

read the rest »