INSALATA DI PUNTARELLE IN SALSA DI ALICI (Roman chicory salad with anchovy vinaigrette, for four)


Puntarelle, or Catalan chicory, is a Roman variety of chicory with crunchy, hollow stems.  Sadly, it is almost impossible to find in the United States (although it is available mail order from Lucio Gomiero’s European Vegetable Specialties Farms in Salinas, California;  This recipe substitutes more easily obtainable Belgian endive and frisee.

1 pound Catalan chicory, or a combination of 2 heads Belgian endive and ½ pound frisee

4 flat anchovy fillets, drained and patted dry (more if you’re a big anchovy fan)

1 garlic clove

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1-1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, or to taste

  1. If using puntarelle, discard outer leaves, halve inner buds, and slice thinly. If using frisee, discard outer leaves, separate the inner leaves and break them into bite-size pieces.  Endive leaves can be separated and left whole or thinly sliced.  Transfer to a large bowl of ice water and chill until leaves curl slightly, about 1 hour.  Drain in a colander and spin dry.
  2. With a mortar and pestle mash anchovies and garlic to a paste and stir in oil, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.  In a bowl toss greens with vinaigrette.

adapted from Gourmet Magazine, November, 1996

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