Panisse Lettuce

Photo: Danny Kim. Illustrations by John Burgoyne.

Not just a pretty face, this frilly lime-green lettuce has palate appeal, too. Somewhere between an oak-leaf and a butterhead, panisse has tender but sturdy-enough leaves and a bittersweet flavor that fairly cries out for a zingy dressing like the pistachio vinaigrette Greenmarket guru Dan Kluger has concocted over at ABC Kitchen. His fresh-herb-and-chile-enhanced super-salad is one of the best things we’ve eaten this summer.

Dan Kluger’s Panisse Lettuce With Pistachio Vinaigrette

For the Dressing:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup + 2 tbs. raw pistachios
1/2 Thai chile, seeded and minced
4 tsp. lemon juice
3 tbs. Champagne vinegar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

For the Salad:
2 heads panisse lettuce (at Queens County Farm Museum stand at Union Square Greenmarket; or substitute butterhead lettuce)
2 tbs. chives, finely chopped
2 tbs. oregano, finely chopped
2 tbs. mint, finely chopped
2 tbs. tarragon, finely chopped
8 French breakfast radishes, thinly sliced into rounds
1/2 cup Sevillano or Manzanilla olives, pitted and chopped

For the Dressing: In a small pot, heat olive oil and pistachios together over a low flame until warm. Place warm pistachios in food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Immediately pour pistachio mixture into bowl with Thai chile, and let sit for ten minutes. Add lemon juice, Champagne vinegar, kosher salt, and ground pepper.

For the Salad: Trim stem and remove outside leaves of each lettuce. (1) Cut each lettuce in half lengthwise and wash. Combine herbs with the pistachio vinaigrette. Place each half lettuce in separate bowls and (2) spoon equal amount of vinaigrette on top of each serving. (3) Sprinkle each with radishes and olives, and finish with cracked ground pepper. Serves four.

Panisse Lettuce