During my recent trip to Italy, I didn’t really forget about my readers! Even though I was on holiday, I still did a little cooking. There are a few dishes that I have always wanted to share with you, but never could, as I was not able to find the ingredients for them. So… I took control of my mother’s kitchen and made them. I will be sharing these “special” recipes over the next few weeks. Please excuse the quality of my photos as I did not have all my usual photographic equipment with me. Still, I think these are delicious recipes worth sharing.
Let’s start with Puntarelle alla Romana. Puntarelle is a specific kind of chicory, originally cultivated in the countryside around Rome (even though now they are available throughout Italy). So, as you might have guessed, today’s dish is one of my Regional Italian recipes and it originates from… Rome. Puntarelle alla Romana is a salad, dressed with a simple anchovy vinaigrette and it is so famous in Rome, that you can find it in almost all the restaurants of the city. And clearly in all the markets too!
Finding Puntarelle in Australia is very hard… I have actually never seen them. If you cannot find them where you live, you can make this salad with other types of bitter chicory like frisée, radicchio or endive. If, like me, you like crunchy bitter salads, you will absolutely adore this! Buon appetito and don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a copy of my latest eBook on frozen treats, The Cool Side of Summer!
Puntarelle alla Romana
Puntarelle alla Romana, a crunchy and slightly bitter salad made with a specific kind of chicory and dressed with a simple anchovy vinaigrette.
- 2 heads puntarelle or other chicory
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 or 5 anchovy fillets under oil
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
Start by cleaning the puntarelle. Remove the outer leaves. Pull or cut apart the hollow stems at the core of the head. These are white on the bottom, with pale green asparagus-like tips.
Now cut off the tough bottom part of the stem and slice them in half lengthwise, and then slice each half into long, thin strips.
Fill a large bowl with ice and water and put your sliced puntarelle stems into it. Let them soak for an hour. They will begin to curl.
To make the anchovy vinaigrette, mash together the garlic and salt. Add the anchovy fillets and pound until coarsely mashed. Stir in the vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and mix well to combine.
Drizzle the dressing over the puntarelle and toss to combine.
If you cannot find puntarelle, you can make this salad with other types of chicory, like frisée, radicchio, endive, which you can slice into long strips. Be sure to soak your vegetables in icy water, to give them an extra crunch and curl.