Eat this Word: Puntarelle

puntarelleWHAT? Wild greens. Until very recently, this unusual ancient Roman vegetable, a relative of chicory, was available only in Italy. And even there it was known only in select geographic pockets. But now that puntarelle is being grown in the United States, chefs are rapidly incorporating it into their Mediterranean-inspired menus, noted New York Times reporter Paula Disbrowe. The unwieldy puntarelle grows in bunches that look like a cross between celery and dandelion greens. Along the long fleshy central core of each stem grow rows of short, pointy, triangular leaves. The whole thing, stem, core, leaves, and all, is eaten raw, usually in salads. Puntarelle has a delicate, peppery flavor, similar to arugula but greener tasting, and a refreshing crispness. In Rome, it is traditionally served with an anchovy sauce. WHERE? Christian Caiazzo's Beard House

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