Puntarelle Alla Romana

This classic Italian salad isn’t afraid of big flavors! Juicy shards of the bitter chicory cousin, puntarelle, stand up to – and help mellow – a salty, sharp dressing featuring anchovies and capers. It’s a great accompaniment to many Italian dishes!

Prep Time

120 minutes

Cook Time

10 minutes


4 Servings


20 ounces Puntarelle (or Belgian endive (8 to 10 heads; a mix of white and red if available), trimmed)
8 anchovy (Drained )
2 cloves garlic (Medium )
1⁄2 teaspoon salt, kosher (more to taste)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
1⁄2 cup parsley, flat-leaf
3 tablespoons capers (Drained and roughly chopped )
  black pepper


1. Pluck the outer leaves off the heads of puntarelle, tear or cut into bite-sized pieces, and set aside. Remove the shoots from the heads and, if present, trim and discard the woody bottom end of each. Cut shoots into 1/4-inch-thick strips (you may need to halve or quarter them lengthwise first). If there’s a fatter core, trim off the tougher base, cut it in half lengthwise, and then cut the halves into strips.

2. Alternatively, if using endive, quarter endive lengthwise without removing cores. Slice each quarter into 1/8-inch strips lengthwise, at an angle through core, so leaves remain attached.

3.Transfer prepared puntarelle or endive to a bowl and cover fully with cold water and a handful of ice cubes. Cover with a small plate or other similar object to keep pieces submerged. Refrigerate until curled, at least 2 hours (they may remain submerged for up to 18 hours). 

4. Drain puntarelle or endive and dry in a salad spinner. Refrigerate until needed.

5. Meanwhile, place anchovies, garlic, and salt on a cutting board and mash with the back of a fork until a coarse paste forms. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add vinegar and whisk until uniform. Add oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly, until emulsified.

6. Add puntarelle or endive, parsley, and half of the capers to bowl and toss to coat with dressing. Season with pepper and salt to taste. Transfer to a serving platter, top with remaining capers, and serve.