Puntarella - Not really from outer space, but unusual and exotic.


Puntarella Meet the Italian winter chicory that looks like it comes from an alien film.
It’s always interesting when a new ingredient pops up in the kitchen.
Puntarella is unusual, a bunch of light green pods growing in a head at the base of the plant encased in long thin saw-toothed leaves which are white ribbed and splaying into dark green leaves.
The pods some what look like asparagus spears, thus the puntarella is sometimes goes under the name asparagus chicory.
A bitter salad and if you’re like me and a fan of bitter greens then have a go at Puntranella. Some more common readily available relatives are endive, radicchio, and escarole.
The puntarella, in it's glory a winter surprise The Puntarella, in it's glory a winter surprise.

The pods

The pods have a taste and texture similar to raw fennel and celery thinly sliced they can be used as a crunchy salad ingredient in a mixed salad or primarily a puntarella salad. And don’t forget the green leaves add flavour and depth to your salad by using them.
Puntarella really is a salad vegetable with low waste percentage, which now days in the restaurant industry is a prime motivator.
Whats better than one puntarella? a box of puntarella.

The Puntarella

That Puntarella is a sooo typical Italian ingredient try not to invent new cross-cultural crashes, stick to the basics. Good olive oil, lemon juice or simple vinegars.
Then use the whole palate of Italian ingredients.
How can it go wrong.
Beef carpaccio with artichoke dressing, Jerusalem artichoke chips and Puntarella salad