"Salad made from chicory thallus presso all'insemenzire."
Here's cuer what happens to tt many ggnocchi
That nun zanno addistingue in ne l'erbajja
puntarelle mai da li mazzocchi.
(Giuseppe Gioachino Belli -Romanesque Sonnets -XIX century- Abbada a cchi ppijji!)
The origins of this dish are lost in grandmothers' tales, and it is not easy to date an actual moment when the combination of puntarelle and anchovies began.
Catalogna is known to date back at least two thousand years: It was in fact cultivated and harvested by the Greeks first and then by the Romans.
Ovid, for example, liked to eat vegetables raw and seasoned with garum, a condiment obtained by macerating, in special tanks, oily fish still provided with innards and salt. In the last part of the process, acetate wine was added to the liquids released from the fish to dilute them.
Garum was used to season almost everything: meat, fish, and raw and cooked vegetables. In many cases, as Pliny the Elder relates in his Naturalis Historia XXXI, it was also used as a medicine, both for humans and animals.
Hence the custom of seasoning puntarelle with a quick garum, also prepared at home, as Martial reports: "Fatty fish such as sardines and mackerel should be used, to which various fish entrails should be added, in a 1/3 portion. It is necessary to have on hand a well-pecked tub, of the capacity of about thirty liters. On the bottom of the same tank, make another layer of dried and strong-flavored herbs such as dill, cilantro, fennel, celery, mint, pepper, saffron, oregano. On this bottom arrange the innards and small fish whole, while the larger ones should be cut into pieces. On top lay a layer of salt two fingers high. Repeat the layers to the brim of the container. Let stand in the salt for seven days. For other days stir frequently. Eventually a rather thick liquid is obtained, which is precisely Garum. " (Epigrammata XI). "
The Greek physician Galen (129-216) called this vegetable, "Friendly to the liver and not averse to the stomach."
Indeed, puntarelle are rich in minerals and vitamins: they contain, in particular, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
They have a diuretic action, with fairly limited calories: 100 g of catalogna contains 10 kcal / 42 kj.
What is certain is that there is no Roman family that does not know this dish and does not have its own version of it.
The goodness and uniqueness of this salad lies in the balance of ingredients.
Half a clove of garlic more or less, a different type of oil or vinegar, are able to significantly change the final result. Come and try the ones proposed by the Rectory!