Puntarelle alla Romana is one of the most typical salads or side dishes you can find on a menu in Rome, strictly towards the end of winter and the beginning of spring, when puntarelle – a delicious, crispy salad found in the regions of Lazio and Campania – is in season.
Puntarelle are the sprouts of catalogna chicory – sometimes also referred to as asparagus chicory. It’s such a common vegetable in Lazio that many larger supermarkets and now even greengrocers – fruttivendolo, in Italian – sell it already clean, so that preparing your puntarelle alla romana salad at home becomes even faster.
Making puntarelle alla romana salad is really easy. To discover how, check out this recipe.
How To Make Puntarelle Alla Romana
- One head of puntarelle - roughly a pound (400 grams)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 4 anchovies
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
STEP 1 - CLEAN THE PUNTARELLE
- Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes.
- Strip the outer, darker leaves from the puntarelle.
- Take the shoots and cut them in thin strings as shown in the video.
- Drop the strings in the iced water and leave them to soak for one hour, so that they become curly and crispy.
STEP 2 - PREPARE THE DRESSING
- Put the anchovies, extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar and garlic in a mortar and press gently until creamy. Alternatively, just mix it in a blender.
- Adjust with salt if necessary.
STEP 3 - DRESS THE SALAD AND SERVE
- Rinse the puntarelle and dry it, place in a large bowl, add the dressing and toss.
Serve as a side dish, along with some freshly baked bread.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 161Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 149mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g
Puntarelle Alla Romana Questions and Substitutions
I can’t find puntarelle in my local store. What can I replace it with?
The most similar texture and taste will be endives.
When are puntarelle in season?
Here in Italy puntarelle are usually available from February to May – but you can occasionally find them as early as October.
Should I use anchovies in oil or just salt?
I prefer to use anchovies in salt, so that I can add my own top quality extra virgin olive oil.
Can I use anchovy paste instead of anchovies to make the sauce?
I’ll tell you a secret: I often do that as it is easier to mix. Keep in mind it’s not nearly as salted as whole anchovies, though!
Check out my other recipes of Roman cuisine:
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- The One And Only Spaghetti Cacio E Pepe
- An Easy Recipe For Saltimbocca Alla Romana
- How To Make Bucatini All’Amatriciana
- How To Make Spaghetti Alla Carbonara