Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Puntarelle: A Roman Vegatable

I saw a dish that looked like a bowl of big, curly green onions being served to the person sitting next to me at a restaurant. I was a little curious on what it was but had my eye on a pasta dish while scanning the menu. I got up to go to the bathroom when I passed 3 other tables with the same dish on their table. Finally I asked our waiter what that dish was as almost everyone seemed to be eating it. 

He said it was puntarelle, a chicory with light green stems and dandelion shaped leaves. Our waiter said it was basically a Roman salad and their version came with an anchovy, garlic, lemon, and olive oil type dressing.    Instantly, I said, ‘I would like one too!’    I had one bite and I was hooked. It was slightly crunchy, watery and absolutely tasty and refreshing.  I was told that this is a true, local dish and a source of Roman pride and we were fortunate enough to be in Rome when it was in season.

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