Cathy Isom has a few excellent tips about how to grow a wonderfully unique herb that is a favorite of top chefs around the world. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
If you’ve never heard of agretti (salsola soda), you’re not alone. It’s known by a number of other names such as friar’s beard, barril, saltwort and roscano. Agretti has a salty and slightly sour taste that is pleasant and is often just sautéed in butter and garlic as a side dish.
The young leaves can be eaten raw in salads, on sandwiches, and as a garnish. Agretti can be eaten as a side dish or as a base to lay fish or other meat on.
Agretti grows in coastal areas buffeted by salty winds, but it grows equally well in other types of environments and soils. You can even grow it in cooler climates if you use protective covers or in a greenhouse. Agretti grows in USDA Agricultural zones 8 through 11, requires full sun, and does well in well-draining, loamy soil. Plant as soon as you can in spring and stagger throughout mid-summer to ensure a continuous supply. Don’t allow agretti to dry out because it affects the texture of the plant at harvesting. Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged.
I’m Cathy Isom…