“. . . no gardener knows the full joy of his craft who does not care for his plants from seedhood to maturity.” -Louisa Beebe Wilder
From your garden select the small buttercrunch lettuces, one per person, those that are just beginning to head. Lift them from the soil, root and all. Be careful to hold the greens upright to prevent the soil from dropping into the leaves. Cut the root from the head leaving the base of the tiny head intact. Now carefully wash the lettuce in cool water keeping all the leaves joined at the base. Turn the heads upside down on a clean linen towel to drain, for about half an hour.
Gently shake any remaining water from the head as you arrange it on a chilled salad plate. Keeping the head in one piece, pry the outer leaves open, then the next layer exposing the petite heart of the lettuce. Squeeze over the leaves a few drops of fresh lemon juice and apply a sparing drizzle of heavy cream.
Accent with fresh cracked black pepper and serve immediately.
Photo © Katharine Pollak Photography