This Elevated Salad Flips the Script

Sometimes I get a cookbook that just sings right from the first page. I shouldn’t have been surprised that Carla Lalli Music’s book had that je ne sais quoi quality - she is, after all, the food director at Bon Appetit.

But her new book, Where Cooking Begins, is a true delight. It starts with methodology rather than recipe and seems to aim to get people to be more spontaneous with their cooking. It is a book that will help people need recipes less. If you want to be a more confident cook you’ll love having Carla along to guide you and if you already are confident then Carla will help you get new ideas and brush up on some classic techniques.

It was a delight to have Carla come to the Potluck kitchen and showcase a recipe that seems to embody the book - super simple and bright but with just enough twist to feel brilliant. So watch the video below to hear more about the book and make the recipe for anchovy cream salad!

Anchovy Cream Salad

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

-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