Puntarelle Salad with Anchovies, Mandarin Orange & Lemon
Puntarelle are one of my favorite salad greens and I can never resist them when I see them at the market hall... I just have to have them!
These Roman cousins of the typical Italian wild chicory have a lovely, mild bitterness, similar to radicchio or endives and that is what I love about them... But for those of you who are not so keen on the bitterness... Mandarin orange will save your day!
I used the same, classic, Roman dressing for my salad, made with anchovies, olive oil and lemon juice... Sounds weird, but its definitely the best way to enjoy the Puntarelle... Or if you can't get Puntarelle, you can do the same with endives or dandelion greens. You will have the same flavors going on and the combination is just terrific!
One small head of Puntarelle, 1 mandarin orange, 1 lemon, 3 anchovies, 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil and some fresh pepper... How's that for a simple ingredient list for ya?
Pretty as a picture and pretty darned good! And put together as quick as you can slice up those greens!
Remove the outer leaves, which you can cook up in some other dish, (at least that is what I'm going to do!) and then cut apart the little pods on the inside. Now, using a very sharp knife, slice the Puntarelle as finely as you can!
In Rome, they have special mandolins for doing this... But I ain't in Rome... And you probably ain't either!
Spread out your greens and get ready to prepare your dressing! You've done all of the difficult stuff... It's easy peas from now on!
Cut yourself a few thin slices from the zest of the lemon and the orange before you begin and cut these into very fine shreds to scatter on top of your salad at the end... Then peel the orange and separate the segments and halve your lemon and squeeze out the juice.
Add the anchovies to the lemon juice, plenty of black pepper and about the same amount of olive oil.
Simply mash down the anchovies using a fork and then stir everything together briskly... I suppose you could use a food processor to do this if you preferred... But... I didn't!
Add your orange segments, the shredded zest and your dressing to your finely sliced greens and mix-in well... And you're ready to enjoy!
Having said that, this is a salad that can be prepared a half hour before serving, as opposed to regular green salads which will soon wilt and go all squishy on you... This one will taste better after it soaks up that salty, tangy dressing for a while.
And of course, those little bursts of sweetness from the mandarin orange make it even more delicious! Seasonal, sunny and great... Especially as autumn is not the sunniest of seasons here in Frankfurt!
I told you I couldn't resist this stuff... And I think that you might feel the same after you try it too!