Carla Lalli Music's Spring Lettuces with Anchovy Cream

March 21, 2019
4 Ratings
Photo by Gentl and Hyers
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

"This dressing was inspired by the Italian sauce called bagna cauda, a warm olive oil dip in which anchovies, capers, garlic, parsley, and nuts take a nice bath. I wanted something luscious and rich to temper those sharp and salty ingredients, and really struggled before landing on the creamiest thing of all: cream. Steeping the garlic and anchovy with the cream mellows their bite, while simultaneously infusing the cream with flavor. Everybody wins!"

Reprinted from Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes To Make You a Great Cook. Copyright © 2019 by Carla Lalli Music. Photographs copyright © 2019 Gentl and Hyers. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC. —Food52

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: How Changing the Way I Grocery Shop Has Made Me a Better Cook —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, stems and leaves separated, leaves roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 pinch kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 pinch freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small heads lettuce, leaves separated, washed, and dried
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch flaky sea salt, for serving
  1. In a small saucepan, combine cream, anchovies, parsley stems, garlic, a pinch of salt, and several grinds of pepper and bring to a very gentle simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit 10 minutes for flavors to infuse.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, combine walnuts and olive oil and cook over medium heat, tossing and stirring often, until nuts are deep golden and toasty in spots, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, season with salt, and stir. Let cool.
  3. Pluck the parsley stems out of the cream mixture, then use a fork to whisk the mixture and break the garlic and anchovies into small pieces (the fillets should disintegrate without any effort). Taste dressing and season with salt, if needed.
  4. Toss lettuce in a large serving bowl or platter with vinegar, then season with flaky salt. Spoon dressing over (use all of it even though it might seem like a lot). Stir walnuts and chopped parsley together and scatter over the salad. Season with more flaky salt and pepper.
  5. SPIN IT:
    -2 heads Little Gem romaine hearts, 2 heads Boston lettuce, or 1 head green or red leaf lettuce, can all be used
    -1 head radicchio or 3 endive for the lettuce
    -A few dashes of fish sauce for anchovies
    -Almonds or pecans in place of walnuts
    -Lemon juice for vinegar

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lune
  • Brinda Ayer
    Brinda Ayer
  • Renée Robinson
    Renée Robinson
  • Rena Robles
    Rena Robles

6 Reviews

Renée R. February 8, 2020
I've been making this since it first went up on this site. Man, oh, man, is it good. I seem to always find myself with a bunch of pine nuts, so I've never used walnuts. I'm sure they're delicious, too. Tonight's dinner: Ribeye steaks from Costco and this salad made with beautiful hydroponic butter lettuce, also from Costco. It's my partner's requested birthday dinner and I couldn't be happier to oblige. Thanks so much for sharing.
Rena R. January 5, 2020
Holy smokes, this might be the best thing I ever tasted. Used fish sauce cuz that’s all I had and it was so good, my toddler even asked for thirds.
Laura P. April 9, 2019
It’s not clear to me: do you strain the oil out of the walnuts and discard it? Or do you pour the walnuts AND the oil over the salad at the end, without ever mixing it with the infused cream?
Brinda A. April 11, 2019
Hi Laura, my guess is that you'd strain and discard the olive oil. 1/4 cup isn't a whole lot, but there will definitely be some oil left in the pan. As far as I know, you don't add it to the cream mixture. Hope this helps!
Laura P. April 11, 2019
I served it without the oil, and you’re clearly right. Thanks!
Lune April 4, 2019
That anchovy cream!!! It is absolutely delicious!