Sure, like all rare things, it's expensive. But you'll likely only be able get your hands on one bunch a year anyway – so you might regret not 'getting it while you can'. I found the beautiful bunch in my local 'Natoora' in Chiswick, a gorgeous green-grocers who only sell the best produce from expert growers in the UK, France and Italy.
It looks like the spiky kind of grass that grows at the beach and it kind of tastes like a very delicate spinach.
When it comes to cooking there are limited recipes on the internet so I went with the flow and had mine as part of one my favourite week-night dinners: greens and eggs on toast.
I washed my monks beard (very hairy) and steamed it in a frying pan – (I say steamed, I put it in a pan over a low heat with the aforementioned washing water, lid on). Seasoned. And that was it.
I toasted my sourdough bread (home-made, more on this another time), rubbed a garlic glove over it, trickled over some olive oil over the toasty, garlic-y bread, topped with monks beard and crowned it all with a couple of poached eggs. What a handsome week-night dinner.
Julia Child's Egg Poaching
The egg poaching, I have recently been experimenting with Julia Child's method. You boil the eggs in their shells for about 10 seconds, then remove them from the water, turn the boil down to a simmer, then crack the eggs into the water and cook for about 3 minutes. Sometimes the eggs aren't perfect, but it's the most consistent egg-poaching method I have found.
NB: those smart men, the Hairy Bikers do it this way too (read about it The Hairy Bikers' Meat Feasts)
|Beautiful Monks Beard from Natoora - so pretty.|
|Eggs and Greens, the perfect week-night supper|
|The bountiful crop in situ at Natoora|