Chef Jamie Oliver fans will be familiar with Salsola Soda, also known as Egretti. The rest of us are curious about agility and its applications. The article that follows provides details on growing agarita in your yard and soda salula.
What is Agretti?
Popular in Italy and hot in upscale Italian restaurants in the United States, herb aegretti measures 18 inches wide and 25 inches (45.5 by 63.5 cm) long. This annual plant has tall plants that look like chives and when mature, in about 50 days or so, resemble a large chive plant.
Salsola Soda Information
The flavor of agaretti has been variously described as slightly bitter, almost sour, with a pleasant crunch, a hint of bitterness, and a more pleasant description of grassy with a hint of salt. Also known as rossano, monk’s beard, saltwort, barrelwood or russian thistle, it grows naturally in the mediterranean sea. This succulent is closely related to samphiri or sea fennel.
The name “salsola” means salt, which is rather apt, as it is used to disinfect agricultural soils. The sap was also once reduced to soda ash (hence its name), a staple of the famous Venetian glass industry until synthetic processes replaced its use in the 19th century.
Today, the uses of Agrity are completely free. They can be eaten fresh, but they are usually roasted with garlic and olive oil and served as a side dish. Egreti can be used in salads when they are young and tender, but another, more popular use is lightly steamed with lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. It is also classically popular for use as a serving bed with fish.
Egreti can also replace its cousin okahijiki (salsola komarovi) in sushi, as its pungent texture, crispness, and texture balance the delicate flavor of the fish. Eggplant is a good source of vitamin A, iron and calcium.
How to grow Agretti Plants
Egretti has become all the rage because of his famous chefs, but also because he’s so hard to come by. Anything rare is often sought after. Why is it so hard to get? Well, if you were thinking of planting salsola soda a year or so ago and started looking for seeds, you may have a hard time getting them. Any buyer who stocked up on seeds could not meet their demand. In addition, floods in central Italy have reduced seed stocks this year.
Another reason why white egrets are difficult to transplant is that they have a very short shelf life, only 3 months. It is also notoriously difficult to grow. Germination rate is about 30%.
However, if you can obtain and purchase seeds, plant them immediately in the spring when the soil temperature is around 65 F (18 C). Sow the seeds and cover them with about an inch of soil.
The seeds should be 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) apart. Thin plants to 8-12 inches (20.5-30.5 cm) in a row. The seeds should germinate sometime in 7-10 days.
You can start harvesting the plant when it is about 18 cm high. Prune back the tops or parts of the plant and it will grow back, just like perennials.