The first nectarine fruits are starting to appear. They are hard and smooth and their blush colour is gradually beginning to show through the taught green skin. Despite a hot summer and a warm stonewall to cling to, they won’t be ready for another few weeks. But there’s something this plant can produce in the meantime, that I discovered, almost by accident.
We planted some agretti (salsola soda) this spring. It sounds like a drink, but it’s actually something you eat. I’d been aware of this strange green vegetable for some time – the Italians love it and it is often served in restaurants during early spring. Occasionally I had spotted it at my local greengrocer, who specialises in Italian produce, but what was the story of this curious, green, succulent plant with bunches of spikey tendrils?
I have spent the last few weeks shooting the photographs for my new book, Egg, to be published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in the Spring of next year. A book that celebrates eggs, the wonderfully diverse yet simple ingredient, and all my favourite ways to cook with them.