Despite being native of Apulia, the puntarelle chicory are a typical dish of Roman cuisine.
If you pass by Campo dei Fiori market in Rome, take a look at how the greengrocer prepare them.
INGREDIENTS for 4 servings:
1 head of puntarelle (shoot chicory catalogna)
2 cloves garlic
6 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs vinegar
2-4 salted anchovy fillets, 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 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.
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 and toss with the dressing.
Tips: you can steam the green outer leaves and season with a good extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.