Produce manager Frank Pumphrey shows two heads of puntarelle, a funny-looking salad choice in the Trail grocer’s produce aisle. (Sheri Regnier photo)

An ‘endive’ into the leafy goodness of the chicory family

Trail Ferraro Foods manager sheds light on strange-looking salad choice in produce aisle

Trail Ferraro Foods is well known for bringing in a wide array of local and exotic food choices throughout the year.

The grocer’s seemingly endless stock of interesting, sometimes hard to find, high quality foodstuff draws countless shoppers from near and far to its downtown Trail locale.

But this latest one housed in the produce aisle — a bright green, spiky-looking, and heavy head of mystery — had a number of patrons stumped over the holidays.

The Trail Times asked produce manager Frank Pumphrey to shed some light on this intriguing-looking food choice, as well as how it should be prepared and eaten.

He said the product in question is called “puntarelle,” and it is a member of the endive family.

Also known as “cicoria di catalogna” or “cicoria asparago,” it is a variant of the chicory family, which includes endive, escarole, radicchio, and frisee.

The heads are characterized by an elongated shape (about 40 to 50 cm), light green stems, and dandelion-shaped leaves.

Puntarelle shoots are described as having a pleasantly bitter taste.

Frank says to cut off the tips of the stems that have browned, then thinly slice the shoots to toss in with other greens.

“Because they are a member of the endive family, it is bitter-tasting, but good when mixed with other (lettuces), ” he said.

Puntarelle heads are picked when they are young and tender and may be eaten raw or cooked.

Often used as a traditional ingredient in the Roman salad called by the same name, they are prepared with the leaves stripped and the shoots soaked in cold water until they curl.

The salad is served with a prepared dressing of anchovy, garlic, vinegar, and salt pounded and emulsified with olive oil.



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

3 break-ins, copper pipe stolen from vacant Fruitvale school

Village planning future use of the site, including teardown of the old school

Kootenay cold snap ups energy consumption as high as 75 per cent

On Jan. 14, natural gas use rose 50 per cent compared to the previous Tuesday

Introducing 2020 Colombo Lodge executives

Executives were sworn in at an the installation ceremonies earlier this month

Rossland French immersions school to offer high school courses

Expansion decision means students can continue in French to Grade 9

Rossland Council updated on cost of fixing arena

It will cost $700,000+ to get job done

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Protesters block B.C. government building entrance to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Most Read