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Puntarelle alla Romana

Use Puntarelle, the delicious member of the chicory family for this Rome-based salad.
Prep Time 1 hr
Course Appetizer, contorno, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 1 head of puntarelle
  • large bowl of ice water
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic - peeled and smashed
  • ΒΌ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Wash the puntarelle head and remove outer leaves. These leaves can be steamed and eaten as a side dish or added to a soup broth. We use the thick inner stalks for this salad.
  • Break apart the thick inner stalks and cut each one into 1/4 inch strips. Have a big bowl of ice water ready, and place the strips in the ice water as you go. Watch the video below! It helps understand how to approach these steps.
  • Let the puntarelle strips soak in ice water for 1 hour. You will see them curl! Feel free to dip in and taste one every now and then.
    Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette. Soak the garlic cloves in the red wine vinegar for 30 minutes. Remove the garlic cloves and mix in the extra virgin olive oil.

To prepare the salad

  • Drain the puntarelle, and using a salad spinner or cotton towel, remove as much water as possible. Place the puntarelle in a serving bowl and dress with vinegrette and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Buon appetito!
    Most puntarelle heads are large and make a large quantity of salad. I usually store the prepared strips in a plastic bag, so I can dress them one serving at a time. They will keep in the fridge for about 5 days.