Thomas Sixt is a chef, food photographer, cookbook author and blogger.
Here he shares recipes, answers cooking questions and helps with cooking.
You can find my Puntarelle recipe in this post.
The asparagus-like vegetables are a feast for the eyes 🙂
We also know Puntarelle under the term volcano asparagus.
The vegetables promise a visual and tasty experience.
You can prepare volcanic asparagus raw in a salad or fried or steamed as a vegetable.
You can find both variants in this article with a lot of information, cooking tips and tricks.
Have fun reading and tasting, plus success in the kitchen!
Table of Contents
1. Recipe Puntarelle
Photographing the volcano asparagus was a great pleasure for me.
There are simply more pictures :-), that’s good for the overview.
You will find more cooking tips and ideas after the recipe.
Maybe after reading you feel like having a chat in the kitchen?
You can send me your cooking questions and kitchen gossip via the comment function at the bottom of the page.
Cooked, photographed and written down by chef Thomas Sixt.
Simple instructions for Puntarelle alla Romana and variations.
|1||Piece||glove of garlic|
|4||Pinches||Pepper black, ground|
|2||tsp||brown cane sugar|
|80||ml||Vinegar (I used white balsamic vinegar)|
Wash the volcanic asparagus, dry it and place it ready on the cutting board.
Cut off the root at the bottom.
Remove the long, green leaves from the heart.
Remove the wilted leaves from the heart and have a kitchen slicer ready.
Thinly slice the heart of the volcanic asparagus from the root side.
Cut the volcanic asparagus tips to the desired length and cut the tips in halves or quarters.
Place sliced puntarelle in a bowl.
Soak the puntarelle in ice water for 25 minutes.
Prepare the ingredients for the anchovy pesto.
Place the finely chopped garlic, anchovies and chili in the mortar.
Crush the ingredients in a mortar.
Add the vinegar to the pesto ingredients.
Add pepper, sugar and a little salt and process in a mortar.
Pour in the oil slowly and stir.
Process all ingredients evenly and prepare a creamy salad dressing or anchovy pesto.
Taste the pesto and adjust to taste.
Marinate the dry asparagus tips with the prepared pesto.
Marinate the dried volcanic asparagus salad.
Arrange the salad in deep plates.
Place the marinated puntarelle tips upright in the salad.
Alternatively, marinate the tips and place on the chopped lettuce.
You can also drizzle both variants with the pesto and then serve.
Serve with a fine ciabatta or freshly baked pizza bread.
Exciting ideas for a sophisticated antipasti plate can be found elsewhere on the food blog.
You can easily prepare the Italian starter.
Antipasti are always a good idea!
The pickled vegetables are suitable for lunch, brunch with friends, summer barbecues and dinner with friends or for two.
2. Calories And Nutritional Values
As usual, you can find the precisely calculated nutritional values for the Puntarelle recipe in the table below.
3. Puntarelle Season
The ideal harvest time for Puntarelle is January and February , the winter months.
Let’s also take a look at the vegetables.
Puntarelle is a popular variety of chicory, known in Italy as cicoria di Catalogna.
The vegetable is grown in Lazio and southern Italy.
The word “Puntarelle” means “little peaks”.
The scientific name is: “Cichorium intybus var. foliosum”.
In Germany and Austria we know the vegetable as volcanic asparagus.
Other designations are:
Catalan Chicory –> Cicoria di Catalogna,
Asparagus chicory –> Cicoria asparago.
In the region around Rome, the cultivated cicoria di Catalogna frastagliata di Gaeta is mainly cultivated and cultivated.
The volcano asparagus is a descendant of the wild chicory.
The vegetable was already eaten in ancient Egypt.
The traditional preparation is done with an anchovy dressing, which was probably already known in ancient times.
Puntarelle alla Romana is the wonderful volcanic asparagus salad with anchovy pestoShow-off tip from chef Thomas Sixt
4. Puntarelle Taste
The volcanic asparagus tastes slightly bitter.
The bitter taste intensifies when boiling, frying and heating.
For this reason, the vegetables are already available ready-to-cook on the markets in Rome, for example.
Ready to cook means shredded and soaked in ice water for a long time.
By “pickling” Puntarelle loses bitter flavors.
My experience is:
Depending on where they come from, the vegetable tastes more or less bitter.
I always taste the harvest or purchase raw and then decide on further processing.
Of course it’s a matter of personal taste.
For the salad, I only put my volcano asparagus in cold ice water for a very short time because I liked it so much raw.
Nice side effect of soaking in ice water:
The green, long outer leaves curl up wonderfully when they lie in cold water for a few minutes.
I prepared the salad with anchovy pesto, Mrs. Sixt made a light lemon dressing.
The volcanic asparagus goes well with white wine vinegar, with orange juice and lemon juice,
I used Uwe’s fine white balsamic vinegar .
I put together a balsamic cooking box with Uwe that you can order.
The better the vinegar, the better the salad tastes!Puntarelle dressing tip from chef Thomas Sixt
5. Prepare Puntarelle Fried Or Cooked
Puntarelle tastes wonderfully cooked warm.
I recommend that you soak the cut volcanic asparagus in ice water for a good 40 minutes.
Heat intensifies the bitter taste, as we know from yellow chicory.
Mrs. Sixt thought the asparagus salad was delicious, but her palate couldn’t warm to the vegetables.
If you are preparing volcanic asparagus in the kitchen for the first time, I definitely recommend the salad.
In order for this article and our knowledge base to be complete, there is information on warm preparation here.
Puntarelle vegetable side dish:
Cut the stalks and leaves into small pieces, finely slice the heart.
Place in ice water for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
Sauté olive oil with some garlic and anchovy fillets.
Add the dried Puntarelle and cook as desired.
I had some of the vegetables in ice water for 2 hours, but it still tasted very bitter.
Tip: You can balance the bitter taste with sugar.
Puntarelle with spaghetti:
Sweat the garlic, anchovies and some capers.
After soaking, add Puntarelle and cook with some pasta water and reduce.
I seasoned the vegetables with lots of sugar, olive oil, a little salt, pepper and chilli and mixed them into the spaghetti.
Puntarelle with risotto
Almost finish cooking the risotto.
Prepare the Puntarelle vegetables in an extra pot as you would for spaghetti.
Determine the proportion of vegetables in the risotto according to taste.
This guarantees an original Italian rice dish that tastes great!
Cut and prepare volcanic asparagus and put them in ice water.
Then sauté the vegetables in olive oil or butter.
Season to taste and balance the bitter taste with sugar.
Prepare tips for serving.
Either fill the omelette with the vegetables and serve as a crescent,
Alternatively, mix Puntarelle vegetables with the egg and bake an omelette .
Serve decorated with the tips.
6. Chef Tips On Puntarelle
Here are a few more impressions of preparing the volcano asparagus.
You can leave the tips whole or prepare them in halves or quarters.
There are several options when it comes to serving:
On the one hand you can place the tips in the prepared salad,
alternatively, you can marinate the entire salad and put it on the plate.
Below you will find some nice 🙂 plates.
7. Frequently Asked Questions About Puntarelle
I have put together the most important cooking questions answered below:
Can puntarelle steam in whole?
Puntarelle tastes very, very, bitter when steamed whole. I recommend: Cut into small pieces and soak in ice water, then steam or stew.
Can I prepare puntarelle in the oven?
You can spread soaked and prepared puntarelle on a baking sheet, then drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and sugar. Cook the vegetables on the top shelf of the grill and brown the vegetables.
Can I put the puntarelle raw?
Put the volcano asparagus tips in ice water for 12 hours. Then marinate with vinegar, salt and sugar for a short or long time. Pour into jars and fill with olive oil.
Can I put puntarelle in vinegar marinade?
Cut volcano asparagus and soak in ice water. Boil 1/2 l water and 1/2 l vinegar and season with 150-200 g raw cane sugar. Pour puntarelle into clean jars and cover with the vinegar broth. Keep vegetables sealed in the refrigerator.
8. More Antipasti Recipe Ideas
For a nice antipasti combination you will find more great ideas here in the food blog.
Comments, Cooking Questions and Answers
Below you can write to me directly.
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