I discovered that little plant on the fruit market I usually go. They call it here « agretti » or « barba di frate« . Totally unknown for me I looked at wikipedia: « This plant is said to be halophyt », which means that it likes salt. « It is found only in the Mediterranean basin, in particular in Italia and Spain where it is typical of the diet ».
The only thing the farmer told me about was that I should try to cook it in the pan with a little bit of olive oil just time the « agretti » get a little fluffy. That’s what I did but cooking it with some lemon « confit » (home made, I give you the recipe just below) and its olive oil. It was surprisingly good, still crunchy and with a soda taste (actually its Latin name is Salsola soda and it was also used for the making of bicarbonate of soda!).
So now, « les citrons confits » the lemon confit, I really like it and for some years I was searching for a good recipe to do them on my own, with of course beautiful bio lemon, good olive oil and the occasion to do them. And I did it not so long ago, it just needed about one good month for the lemon to get « confit ». You will see them from time to time in my recipes, I love to use it for example in the « tajine » and I am thinking about using it in sweet recipes too…
- 4 untreated lemons (or as much as you want)
- couple of garlic cloves
- Olive oil
Wash and brush the lemons. Slice them (1 cm width) and progressively put the slices in a colander in the sink. Add salt at the same time in good quantity in order to cover them. Kindly patient until the day after. Wash the lemon slices under water and put them tight in a pot. Add the cloves and cover with oil. Close well the pot and put it in dark for at least a month before using the lemon.
Barba di frate aux citrons confits
- 4 citrons bios (non traités)
- quelques gousses d’ail
- huile d’olive
Laver et brosser les citrons. Les couper en rondelles d’un demi centimètre d’épaisseur environ. Les placer au fur et à mesure dans une passoire en les salant abondamment. Patienter une bonne nuit. Le lendemain, rincer à grande eau les citrons. Les mettre en pot assez serrés avec une ou quelques gousses d’ail épluchées. Bien serrer les tranches de citron. Verser de l’huile d’olive jusqu’au rebord des conserves. Fermer et mettre à l’abri de la lumière pendant un mois avant de déguster.