Puntarelle alla romana

Puntarelle is a member of the chicory family, and its bitter leaves and crisp centre are highly prized in Italy. It’s in season from November to February, so if you see one, snap it up! Here it’s served in the classic Roman style, dressed with a robust anchovy sauce. If you can’t find puntarelle, use another bitter leaf such as chicory, or substitute Tenderstem broccoli - the result will be different, but still delicious.

First published in 2023
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Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

  • iced water
  • 1 puntarelle

Dressing

Method

1

Prepare a large bowl of iced water

  • iced water
2

Remove the outer leaves of the puntarelle, then separate the bulbs in the centre and slice each one lengthwise into thin strips, placing them into the iced water. Leave the strips for an hour - they will curl and crisp up

  • 1 puntarelle
3

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Combine the garlic with a pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar and crush to a paste

4

Add the anchovies and mash those too, then add the white wine vinegar and mix really well, before decanting into a bowl. Add the oil and whisk until everything is combined. Allow the mixture to sit until your puntarelle has finished soaking

5

Once the puntarelle has soaked, drain it and carefully dry it. This is easiest with a salad spinner - take care not to be too vigorous

6

Place the dressing into a bowl and top with the puntarelle. Add plenty of black pepper and toss together really well before serving

First published in 2023
share recipe:

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