Tuesday, 8 December 2015

More Brilliant Greens!

Puntarelle Saltate in Padella con Olive, Capperi & Pomodori Secchi
Puntarelle Sautéed with Olives, Capers & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Puntarelle are one of my favorite of all vegetables- slightly bitter, yet juicy and and delicious, with a flavor, if you are not familiar with them that is similar to that of radicchio or endives. If you like either of those- you are bound to love these!

I am truly fortunate and blessed to be able to buy them at our wonderful indoor market here in Frankfurt, Germany- but whether you can get them or not, you can use the same preparation that I did on any number of other greens... read on!

It is the combination of the olives, sun-dried tomatoes, capers and olives that brings these greens to life and it would work equally wonderfully on broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, chard, dandelion or turnip greens or even kale and cabbage... If you have some leafy greens- you can do it!

This was a small head of puntarelle, but once sliced up and prepared, it made for a nice panful of greens. So, I am going to say, that to jazz up the flavor and to magically transform any frying pan full of leafy greens, you will need: 3 halves of sun-dried tomato, 5-6 olives, 1 tablespoon of capers, the zest and the juice of 1/2 a lemon, a little salt and pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil. And 15 minutes of cooking time at the most- yay!

These are very Sicilian or southern Italian flavors, they are simple, rich and seductively intense... one bite will have you wanting more... and more... and more! So- fill that pan right up!

Any other greens, you can simply wash and chop into larger, bite-sized pieces, as all vegetables will reduce in size after cooking/steaming.

For the puntarelle, if you are fortunate enough to get some, what you need to do is to snap apart the individual bulbs as you can see here and to trim away the "woody" ends of the larger ones- the small ones are tender as can be.

Cut the larger punterelle in halves or even quarters lengthwise, so that they cook more quickly and evenly. You count want to cut them the other way and have a panful of rings now do you? Hehe!

Heat up a good couple of tablespoons of olive oil and add the puntarelle, the olives (cut in half with the stones removed), the sun-dried tomatoes cut into thin strips, a small pinch of salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper.

Toss and stir-fry them for a good 4-5 minutes at a high heat, then add just a little splash of water and cover immediately with the lid.

Let the greens continue cooking/steaming away for a further 4-5 minutes with the lid on top, shaking the pan occasionally and keeping all of the goodness and flavor inside.

Continue cooking on the stovetop, should any moisture be left in the pan, until it evaporates away, then add the juice of half a lemon, a last drizzle of oil, stir through and serve with a little fresh pepper and a scattering of capers and lemon zest... delicious!

Vegetables prepared this way are delicious to serve hot, or even cold as an antipasto- colorful, delightful and easy at the same time! And you have got to love that!

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