Dessert is probably the best way to eat your greens. The herbaceousness of butter lettuce lends itself perfectly to panna cotta. There is a gentle bitterness that cottons to the fat in the cream here. Then come the strawberries and their bright sweetness. A finish of olive oil, and this truly wows. Use the outer leaves for this recipe. They are often larger, and they are not as pretty on salads. The inner leaves are a little bit more gentle and often don’t have quite the flavor.
The Book of Greens
by Jenn Louis
Put the gelatin in a small bowl, cover with cool water, and set aside.
Combine the cream, sage, lemon zest, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and warm just until it starts to simmer. Turn off the heat and allow the flavors to infuse for 5 minutes. Then, using a tablespoon or fork, remove the lemon zest from the pan and puree the lettuce leaves into the cream using an immersion blender or regular blender. Remove the gelatin sheets from water, squeeze the water from the sheets, and whisk the gelatin into the cream. Strain the mixture though a fine-mesh sieve and pour into twelve ramekins (3 1⁄4 ounces/95 ml each). Chill until set, about 8 hours.
To unmold, run a knife around the sides of the molds and invert onto plates. Decorate the tops with the strawberries and drizzle with olive oil.
NOTE: To substitute powdered gelatin for gelatin sheets, soften with 1 1/2 teaspoons plain gelatin powder in 1 tablespoon water for about 5 minutes. Whisk the softened gelatin and soaking water into the cream.
OTHER GREENS TO TRY Little Gem, green leaf lettuce
Reprinted with permission from The Book of Greens by Jenn Louis, copyright © 2017. Photography by Ed Anderson. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.