Sautéed Puntarelle with Dried Cherries and Pecorino Fiore Sardo

This salad is an impressive 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.

Sautéed Puntarelle with Dried Cherries and Pecorino Fiore Sardo
Photo: © Chris Court
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 2 heads of puntarelle (4 pounds), bottoms trimmed, outer leaves removed and reserved 

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2/3 cup dried sour cherries

  • 2  tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • Kosher salt

  • One 2-ounce wedge of Pecorino Fiore Sardo cheese 


  1. Chop the puntarelle leaves into 3-inch pieces. Pick off the inner shoots from the hearts and slice them 1/4 inch thick.

  2. 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.

  3. Transfer the puntarelle to plates, shave the pecorino on top and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Juicy, cherry-rich rosé: 2012 Cantele Rosato.

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