This salad is a masterful balance of bitter, sweet and salty. Mirarchi uses both the hearts and leaves of puntarelle, a seasonal Italian chicory, topping them with freshly shaved Pecorino Fiore Sardo, a lightly smoked sheep’s-milk cheese.
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Recipe from Food & Wine Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook.
2 heads of puntarelle (4 pounds), bottoms trimmed, outer leaves removed and
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup dried sour cherries
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
One 2-ounce wedge of Pecorino Fiore Sardo cheese
How to Make It
Chop the puntarelle leaves into 3-inch pieces. Pick off the inner shoots from the hearts and slice them 1/4 inch thick.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the dried cherries and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the sliced puntarelle shoots and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chopped leaves and vinegar and cook just until the leaves are wilted, 2 minutes. Season with salt.
Transfer the puntarelle to plates, shave the pecorino on top and serve.
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