I’m back, online and cookin’! Praise the kitchen gods and la terra della Puglia!
My biggest complaint for the two months we were living in the hotel was the lack of vegetables available at restaurants. This is not due to a lack of vegetables in Puglia because I have been having a hard time closing my refrigerator because of all of the vegetables that I have been cramming in there. Greens, greens, greens. My wish was Puglia’s command!
These gorgeous catalogne were my first discovery, they are part of the chicory family and as the vendor at the marker told me, with chest puffed and a great deal of pride, “queste sono nostre”, (these are ours) as in from Puglia. I love regional pride for vegetables, food in general, but veg deserves pride, especially here in Puglia.
The best part of my experience buying these beauties was the signora, doing her own shopping, who showed me how to clean them, not wanting to send me home to eat tough greens. The great thing is that I have encountered this generosity of knowledge everywhere I go, making me fall in love with the Pugliesi more and more every day.
Catalogna Saltata in Padella
- 1 or 2 large bunches of catalogna or dandelion greens, washed thoroughly
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
- 1 peperoncino (small chili pepper, optional)
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
Clean the greens by removing the leaves from the red stalk, snap the stalk when it starts to feel tender and wash thoroughly. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the greens’ initial cooking. Once the water starts to boil add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add greens and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain in a colander.
Heat oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat and add the whole cloves of garlic and peperoncino. When garlic starts to sizzle add boiled greens and sauté for about 10 minutes.
Greens can either be served hot or at room temperature. Great as side dish.
One Year Ago: Pureed Potato and Broccoli Soup, Funghi Trifecta Risotto, Funghi Trifecta Risotto Croquettes, Flounder and Fennel filled Mezzelune with Salsa di Pistacchi, Mantecato of Flounder and Fennel over Gemelli with Pistachios & Cavolfiore alle Olive
Three Years Ago: Salsa di Pistacchi, Tzatziki Potato Salad, Beet and Blood Orange Salad, Red Snapper alla Ligure, Pork Loin Stuffed with Figs, Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread, Morningside Farmers Market, Atlanta GA, No-Knead Pizza Dough & Risotto with Scallops, Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes