Thursday, April 30, 2009

Oh what to do with the agretti?

We absolutely love our CSA box which we have now been getting for 3 weeks. They provide an excellent variety of fresh produce that really encourages me to cook more vegetables. Sometimes it also forces me to get a bit creative. The 1 pound of Agretti (pictured above) was one of the offerings that was particularly hard to find a place for because it is not often used in American cooking (I hear it is an Italian green). Epicurious doesn't even recognize the word and there are minimal recipes available other places online. 

We have now received 2 batches of agretti in our farm boxes. The first batch we used in two ways. I snipped up some of it and sprinkled it in a green salad where it promptly got lost amidst the lettuce leaves. Also, that salad really didn't use up very much of the big batch we had received. A couple of days later our friends Patty and Edo came over for dinner and Patty helped whip the agretti into shape using one of the recipes that came with our CSA newsletter. She caramelized some onions for about 10 minutes in a big skillet and then added the cleaned agretti along with some salt and pepper. I usually don't like onions, but that dish turned out very well and went perfectly with the chicken we shared for dinner. 

Last week we received our second pound of agretti but this time I had a different idea about how to use it. I had read that you can use agretti in the place of spinach so I decided to test out that idea. I first envisioned mixing up an agretti quiche but when I started searching for spinach recipes on epicurious I instead found one for a Spinach and Matzoh Pie which was highly reviewed and looked quite good. So I decided to make Agretti and Matzoh Pie. :) 

It turned out quite well and Woodley and I both really liked it. It tastes something like spanakopita but lasagna sized spanakopita

The recipe can be found online at: Spinach and Matzoh Pie
I substituted 1 pound of cleaned agretti for most of the spinach and added in enough extra frozen chopped spinach to get up to 20 oz. total. (Sometimes our little kitchen scale is so useful!)

I think it would be a fairly quick recipe to throw together if you were using frozen chopped spinach. Most of my prep time went into cleaning and chopping the agretti but I did use all of it up and I know it will all get eaten!

Below are some pictures of this latest adventure in cooking:

Cooking the onion until golden (~15 minutes).

Adding the chopped agretti, spinach, dill, salt, and pepper and sautéing a little longer. 

Adding in the pureed mix of cottage cheese, milk, eggs, nutmeg, salt, and pepper as well as the feta. 

Once that mixture is ready to go you layer it with matzoh in a 13x9 inch pan and bake it for 30 - 35 minutes. I had a little trouble finding matzoh but I finally located them in a special 50% off cart. I guess it's almost not matzoh season any longer. I bought 3 boxes so I can make this recipe again later in the year. 

After it came out of the oven, I sprinkled it with a little extra dill.

It was supposed to serve 8. We ate it for 2 dinners in a row, gave a section away to friends, and I froze two other sections that we can use for dinner later in the month. I probably would have halved the recipe except that I wanted to be sure to use up all the agretti because I was afraid I wouldn't get to it if I didn't use it for this dish. 

Overall, I'd say it was a big success! The texture and flavor of the agretti worked perfectly and might even have been a little better than spinach. :) If you've got a bunch of agretti on your hands, I would definitely recommend testing out this recipe. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm cracking up because last week I traded my agretti for squash!! But, if I get more, I'm making this! ;-) - Jenn