PUNTARELLA IN SALSA
This vinaigrette complements any salad green, but we particularly like the way the anchovies and that little touch of cream transform puntarella from something bitter to something beautiful to taste.
To make the oil: In a 12 to 14 inch sauté pan, simmer the anchovies, garlic, and oil over low heat for 30 minutes, or until the anchovies are falling apart. Remove the pan from the heat, strain out the solids and reserve them, and chill the oil overnight in a covered container.
To make the salad: Cut the puntarella leaves from the head, trimming any limp tips. Being careful so as not to bruise the greens, wash the puntarelle and allow the leaves to air dry. Trim the leaves so that they still resemble long stalks, but are short enough to lay on a plate without running over the edge.
To prepare the vinaigrette: Place the chilled oil in a food processor and add the reserved solids. Add the lemon juice and the vinegar, and blend until smooth. Mix in the heavy cream and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Place the puntarelle in a large bowl and dress to taste with the vinaigrette. The remaining vinaigrette can be kept, refrigerated in an air-tight container, for 1 week in the refrigerator. Divide the puntarella into 4 equal portions and place the leaves teepee-style on 4 chilled plates. Top each salad with two marinated or two rinsed anchovy fillets. Serve immediately.