Fall Feasts from Campo de’ Fiori

On the left is curly radicchio and on the right is regular radicchio. I’m not sure what’s in the middle, but it’s pretty, isn’t it?

Doesn’t fall have the best produce? Apples, pumpkins, mushrooms fresh from the forest (at least for the next couple of weeks), artichokes, truffles, puntarelle, chestnuts, a million kinds of lettuce and cabbage, cauliflower—YUM! And we’re trying it all!

Saturday morning at Campo de’ Fiori we bought enormous fresh porcini mushrooms to make funghi trifolati and puntarelle and anchovies to prepare in the classic Roman way. On Saturday and Sunday night, we ate like Roman emperors! While you have fresh mushrooms at your farmers’ markets or at your supermarket, get out your frying pan and try this simple and scrumptious Roman dish. And if you can find puntarelle (a kind of chicory), you are in for SUCH a treat—also simple and scrumptious.

Porcini mushrooms

Funghi trifolati (serves 4)

This dish is called “truffled mushooms” because the thinly sliced mushrooms supposedly look like truffles.

Thinly slice 1–1/2 pounds of mushrooms (we used porcini, but you can make this recipe with any kind of mushrooms or a mixture of mushrooms—just be sure they’re fresh!)

Slice 1 or 2 cloves of garlic

Funghi trifolati ready to eat

Chop ½ cup of parsley


Olive oil

Saute the mushrooms and garlic in olive oil at medium high heat. Immediately sprinkle the mushrooms with a pinch of salt. When the mushrooms start to sizzle and are lightly brown, add the parsley and some freshly ground pepper (about five minutes or so). Serve and go immediately to heaven! You can use this recipe as a side dish, or we served ours over polenta—perfetto.

Puntarelle (serves 4)

Puntarelle in the market

This early winter chicory originated in Lazio, the region in which Rome is located. Puntarelle is available in farmers’ markets from October until March, and it is sublime—crunchy and slightly bitter. If you find it, buy it already cleaned, because cleaning takes forever! We used this recipe:

3 or 4 large handfuls of puntarelle washed and dried (but not cooked)

Puntarelle – ready to eat

1 large clove of garlic

2–4 anchovy filets (to taste)

2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar

¼ cup of olive oil



In a food processor or blender, blend the garlic, anchovies, and white wine vinegar. Slowly add the olive oil to the mixture, making a smooth dressing. Place the puntarella in a salad bowl, pour the salad dressing over the greens, and mix the salad with your hands. Let the puntarelle sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Before serving, add salt and pepper to taste.

Carciofi at the market

Carciofi Alla Romana

We bought artichokes on Saturday and will cook them tonight. We’ll use the recipe that I gave you last January in Good Eats by Michael. The only difficult thing about the recipe is cleaning the artichokes. Eating them is divine.

Happy fall, and happy eating!




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5 Responses to Fall Feasts from Campo de’ Fiori

  1. Meredith Prock says:

    Fall fruit and vegies are great, but it is summer nectarines and peaches I love! I have a 4-foot stack of empty fruit boxes and I must confess that I ate the contents all by myself. Speaking of cauliflower, my daughter makes the best roasted cauliflower with just a touch of olive oil and garlic; cauliflower never tasted so different and so good.

    • skdyer7 says:

      Would you please send me Jenny’s recipe? I love cauliflower.

      • Meredith Prock says:

        It’s from Cook’s Illustrated:

        Published January 1, 2007.

        WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: We wanted to add flavor to cauliflower without drowning it in a heavy blanket of cheese sauce, so we developed a roasted cauliflower recipe that gave us cauliflower with a golden exterior and a creamy interior. We discovered that steaming (in a covered sheet pan) followed by roasting produced nicely caramelized cauliflower with a creamy texture. (less)

        SERVES 4 TO 6 This dish stands well on its own, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil, or with any of the following sauces. Also, some tasters liked spiced versions made with either curry powder or chili powder. Simply stir 2 teaspoons of either spice into the oil before seasoning the cauliflower in step 1. INGREDIENTS 1medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds) 1/4cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling Kosher salt and ground black pepper INSTRUCTIONS 1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Trim outer leaves of cauliflower and cut stem flush with bottom. Cut head into 8 equal wedges so that core and florets remain intact (see photo). Place wedges cut side down on foil- or parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; gently rub to evenly distribute oil and seasonings. Gently flip cauliflower and season other cut side with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, salt, and pepper. 2. Cover baking sheet tightly with foil and cook for 10 minutes. Remove foil and continue to roast until bottoms of cauliflower pieces are golden, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove sheet from oven, and, using spatula, carefully flip wedges. Return sheet to oven and continue to roast until cauliflower is golden all over, 8 to 12 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste, drizzle with oil (or sauce), and serve immediately. TECHNIQUE


        Cutting the cauliflower head from pole to pole into large wedges (about the length of a pencil) exposes more surface area to the hot sheet pan. And leaving the core intact makes it easy to flip the pieces halfway through the caramelization stage so that both sides gain a golden exterior.

        Bon apptit!

  2. skdyer7 says:

    Thank you, Meredith. Mark Bittman has a fabulous roasted brussel sprouts recipe in his vegetarian cookbook.

    • Meredith Prock says:

      I’ll bet that’s the recipe Jenni and Aaron use when roasting their Brussels sprouts, which they love. I know they have at least one or two Bittman cookbooks,

      Sent from Meredith’s iPad

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