Puntarelle are one of our favourite vegetables available during the winter season. The term “Puntarelle” refers to the sprouts of a particular type of chicory called Catalogna Chicory. These vegetables are typical of Rome and the surrounding area where they are considered a traditional regional delicacy. Despite Puntarelle have always been less common and know in the rest of Italy, you can now find them in almost every region across the country.
Puntarelle have a characteristic shape, with green tender sprouts grown around a white stem.
They are rich in vitamin A, calcium and phosphor and have beneficial depurative, digestive and diuretic properties. The best way to enjoy the benefits of this vegetable is to eat Puntarelle raw – when cooked, in fact, they lose most of their beneficial properties.
Puntarelle are mainly available during the winter season and beginning of Spring, from February to April, when you can easily find them in the traditional Italian fruit&veg markets.
The best way to enjoy puntarella is to prepare the famous “Puntarelle alla Romana” salad: a crispy and deliciously bitter salad tossed with a dressing of anchovies, garlic, vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
The recipe is very simple, but following our tips id fundamental in order to enjoy it at its best.
Puntarelle alla Romana – Recipe for 4 serves:
1 head of Puntarelle (available here on our shop)
2 cloves of garlic
5 anchovies fillets
2 table spoons of cider vinegar
5 tablespoons of Extravirgin olive oil
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Fill a bowl with cold water and add some ice cubes. Wash the puntarelle in running water.
Remove the hard bottom part of stem and the external hard leaves. Separate the small bunches of bulbs and start to cut them lengthwise in long thin stripes. You will notice that the bulbs hollow inside. Drop the slices in the cold water and ice and leave them for 30 minutes – 1 hour so that they will curl up and become crisp.
Dice the garlic, place it into a bowl and the anchovies, the extra virgin olive oil and vinegar. Add salt and pepper. Whisk with a fork.
Drain the puntarelle and toss them with the dressing you have just prepared.
You “Puntarelle alla Romana” salad is ready to be served as a delicious antipasto or contorno!