April 2, 2013




My favorite stand at the farmers’ market is two little card tables pushed together and manned by an adorable husband and wife team.
He’s from Sicily and she’s American and have probably been married for fifty years. He’s the farmer but she’s definitely the one in charge and I love to watch them interact.

Besides watching them “bicker” I keep coming back week after week for their vegetables. Their baby chard is incredibly tender. Last summer they had capers from their bushes which I just had to try. And what about cardoons? A few years they introduced me to them and told me exactly how to prepare them.

So this week I spied this green vegetable nestled in front of the swiss chard display. I lifted it out of it’s water bath and said “can you tell me about this”. I had an inkling that it was a chicory, but I wasn’t sure. Just then an Italian couple walked up and the gentleman, being from Rome, proceeded to give me a tutorial on the joys of puntarelle.

in water

Rather than telling you what to do with this bitter green I’m sending you over to Elizabeth Minchilli In Rome for all the details on dealing with puntarelle. Elizabeth has posted a wonderful video on this vegetable and although I didn’t have the tool that the vendor in the video uses, with the use of a chef knife and the classic dressing, my dish was a hit. A big thanks to Elizabeth for all the info. This was the perfect addition to our Easter dinner.

10 thoughts on “Puntarelle

  1. I haven’t tried this…yet.

  2. I’m amazed that you can get puntarelle in California! We can barely find them in Lucca. But I’m relieved to discover from Elizabeth Minchilli’s website that I’ve prepared them correctly on the few occasions I’ve had them. As you say, they’re delicious and well worth the prep labour.

  3. Ahhh the caper couple….I remember them! (In fact I always think of you when I reach for the caperi sotto sale round here now, Janie) Puntarelle I remember eating in Rome. They were served with such reverence. Clearly something to be savoured… 😉

  4. This just screams “Rome” to me and I am sorry to say I never developed a liking for puntarelle. But I promise to give them another try.

  5. Pingback: Calitri-Around Town | Panini Girl

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