Roman Style Puntarelle Chicory with Anchovy Sauce

Puntarelle is a type of chicory that is popular in Italian cuisine, especially in the Lazio region. It has a slightly bitter taste and a crunchy texture that makes it a great addition to salads and other dishes.

One classic recipe that features chicory is Puntarelle alla Romana. To make this dish, the inner stalks of the puntarelle are sliced into thin strips and soaked in ice water to make them crispy. The puntarelle is then dressed with a simple anchovy sauce made with mashed anchovies, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice or vinegar.

The result is a refreshing and flavorful dish that is perfect as a side or a starter. If you haven’t tried puntarelle before, give it a chance and discover its unique flavor and texture. You might be surprised how much you enjoy it!

If you pass by Campo dei Fiori market in Rome, take a look at how the greengrocer prepare them.



Puntarelle alla romana

Preparation Time: 10 minSoaking Time: 2-3 h
Total Time: 2 h 10 min
Catalon Chicory


  • 1 head of puntarelle (shoot chicory catalogna)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbs vinegar
  • 2-4 anchovy fillets in oil, to taste
  • a pinch of salt to taste


  • Remove the dark green outer leaves and get the light – green crispy inner chicory. With a sharp knife cut each hollow stalk in half and then lengthwise into thin strips. Put these strips into a bowl of ice water; let them to soak for 2-3 hours until crispy and curly.
Puntarella alla Romana
Puntarella alla Romana
  • In a mortar with a pestle crush the garlic into a paste with a pinch of salt. Then add the anchovies, vinegar and crush again. At the end add the extra virgin olive oil and mix well to make a smooth dressing.
  • Drain puntarelle, place them in a serving plate and toss with the dressing.


  • you can steam the green outer leaves and season with a good extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice
  • serve it as a side dish or appetizer

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