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Roman Puntarelle Salad?

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I just had a puntarelle salad with citrus at Zuni last weekend, and it was good but didn't scratch my itch for the roman version of the salad with garlic and anchovy dressing. Has anyone spotted that around town? SPQR maybe?

I asked the waitress, and Zuni is getting the puntarelle from Mariquita.

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  1. I though A16 was the reason Mariquita started growing it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Windy

      A few things on the menu are close, but it's one of those things that might be so simple chefs get tired of making it.

      On A16's menu right now, there's a side of Romaine and chicory salad with lemon and olive oil, $6, or a starter of Escarole salad with watermelon radishes, egg, anchovies, breadcrumbs and black pepper, $10, each of which is close to puntarelle (a chicory) with a tart garlicky anchovy dressing, but not quite it.

      Looks like I need to do some emailing. It's the type of simple classic that Zuni would nail, especially since they already house-cure anchovies for their anchovy starter and the Caesar.

      SPQR has:
      Chicory salad, shallot agrodolce, bacon & crispy anchovy
      Perbacco:
      Radicchio and chicory salad, hard cooked egg, anchovy vinaigrette
      Piccino:
      Roasted Cauliflower and Chicory Salad: orange cauliflower served warm with mixed chicories and anchovy in a creamy herb vinaigrette

      Lots of variations on a theme, but no perfect examples of the classic.

      1. re: SteveG

        Under the new chef, I think the only thing Roman about SPQR is the name.

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        SPQR
        1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

    2. Just had a salad that was very close--and frankly, for my purposes, perfect--at Bar Agricole on 11th street in San Francisco. Real puntarelle, delicious anchovies, rich garlicky flavor that wasn't too sharp. I think it was missing some lemon juice, but when I've tried to approximate this at home I always end up with too much lemon flavor. I'll definitely be going back!

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      Bar Agricole
      355 11th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

      2 Replies
      1. re: SteveG

        It's been right under my nose the whole time. La Tercera grows Puntarelle and sells at the Berkeley Sat market and the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Tuesday market. Also probably available from the semi-secret Star Route Farms direct sales during the week in Bolinas.
        http://www.marinorganic.com/recipes_h...

        1. re: SteveG

          Tierra Vegetables in Santa Rosa (and at Ferry Plaza on Saturdays) has also grown puntarelle in the past.

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          Tierra Vegetables
          651 Airport Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

      2. It's still a bit early for puntarelle, usually mid November is the best for roman chicory...under this name you might find them somewhere like Berkeley Bowl or Monterrey Market.

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        Berkeley Bowl
        2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

        1. We had a textbook Roman style Puntarella salad at Camino last Monday. Thin slivers made curly by a bath in ice water, dressed in an anchovy/lemon/olive oil emulsion. It came underneath the Salt Cod fritters which were also mighty tasty.
          Anabelle at La Tercera has grown this for years and is IMO the best local source for it.

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          Camino
          3917 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610

          1. Both Dopo and Boot & Shoe had Puntarelle with garlic and anchovy on their menus last night.

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            Dopo
            4293 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

            1. When it is in season, Pasta Moon in Half Moon Bay does the Roman version. (I do my own at home)

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              Pasta Moon
              315 Main St., Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

              1. I bought this bunch of puntarelle, $2, from Dirty Girl at Thursday's Ferry Building farmers market and made a salad with an anchovy, garlic, red wine vinegar, EVOO dressing. Luckily, I kept the leafy parts separate when I chopped as they were unbearably bitter and too tough to chew. The stalks were still plenty bitter and a work out to eat. Every bit of dark green was very bitter. Not recommended.

                I've enjoyed the puntarelle I've purchased from Bernier farms in Healdsburg in past seasons.

                 
                2 Replies
                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Most farmers around here don't grow it right. The fleshy part needs to be developed enough that you can shave it, which in Rome the farmers do at the market:

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX0l6...

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Both La Tercera and Tierra grow it right but it doesn't always work.