December 1, 2012
Italian Kitchen Tools- Taglia Puntarelle
I am a sucker for kitchen toys!
The puntarelle are a kind of chicory. The plant has leaves on the outside which are also edible but the treat are these chubby "fingers". They get cut into tiny threads and then soaked in cold water to curl and crisp up.
In Rome, it is possible to buy the fingers already cut,pre-soaked ready for salad. I finally talked one of the vendors into selling me her "cutter" one day. Then I gave mine away and the next time all that was available were the plastic ones.
Last trip up to Bologna, I went into one of my favorite kitchen stores, the Antica Aguzzeria del Cavallo. Shoppers beware, it has some really fabulous things! The bronze pasta cutters are lovely!
I had spotted the the "cutter" in the window as I was walking by.
The puntarelle are made into a traditional salad. Once they have been soaked and then drained, dress with a anchovy, garlic, olive oil and salt dressing.
Crush the 2 anchovies and 1 garlic clove into a paste.
Add the juice of 1 lemon and whip in about 1/2 olive oil and salt to taste.
It reminds me of a Ceaser Salad dressing, which was invented in Tijuana by two Italians. Maybe they were Roman?
I simply make a nice lemon juice and olive oil vinaigrette with some salt, then add anchovy pieces into the salad. My husband doesn't like raw garlic a lot.
Here is a great blog post with recipe and a fun video from my friend Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome on puntarelle!
When in Rome!!!! Walk first through the markets to see what is in season, then order it in the restaurant!
We ADORE seasonal specialties!!!
If you are looking for the tagliapuntarelle-- Here is the inventor's site.