Providing Bon Appétit Magazine with a recipe for Lemon Panna Cotta with Lemon Marmalade was very nice of Jimmy Bannos, Jr. It may make us seem ungrateful to wish he had included in his published version the sugared pistachios that grace the dessert at The Purple Pig.
We’ve enjoyed multiple meals at The Purple Pig, a seemingly always-packed place nestled at the southern tip of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. We’re usually torn between too many choices—from Turkey Leg Confit with Crispy Lentils to Pig’s Ear with Crispy Kale, Pickled Cherry Peppers & Fried Egg. (Crispy things are very, very popular in Gourmandistan.) We are too afraid (and have too little access to pig ears) to try and recreate the pig ear salad. However Michelle, who saw this recipe for her favorite Purple Pig dessert while planning how to dispose of some aging lemons, had no fear she could crank it out. In fact, she resolved to recreate it.
“There are as many variations on this easy, classic dessert as there are fruits” quoth Mr. Bannos. That may be why he not only left off the pistachios, but also added (to our lazy asses, anyhow) the unnecessary step of plating the panna cotta from ramekin molds. We felt that time was better spent sugaring nuts, as their nicely sweetened crunch completes this cool, tart treat. We served it up just like they do in the Windy City, and had plenty of marmalade left to spread around—just like we’re doing with this pistachio recipe.
- 1/2 c. raw pistachios
- 1 egg white
- 1 TB water
- Splash of vanilla
Preheat oven to 300°.
Whisk egg white, water and vanilla in a shallow bowl. Place sugar in another shallow bowl. Add nuts to wet ingredients, then remove with a slotted spoon and toss in sugar.
Place sugared nuts on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing midway with a spatula.
After nuts are cool, rub excess sugar off with your fingers. Sprinkle the nuts and the removed sugar over the panna cotta and lemon marmalade.
Oh my goodness…this looks amazing. I think pistachios make everything better. And what a great use of lemons! Had I seen this a couple of days ago, I would have made some marmalade. Instead I preserved all of them and have a TON of preserved lemons to use up! Great post. Very funny 🙂
Thanks, Aura. It’s a nice marmalade recipe. We had the leftovers on scones over the weekend.
I like your version with nuts and marmelade. Makes me wish my Gourmandistan visa would speed the hell up. EXCELLENT photos. Ken
Thanks, Ken! I can’t take credit for the combination. I always order it when in Chicago.
Looks amazing. I’m sure it tastes amazing and I’m very intrigued by the Pig’s ear salad too. Pistachios are such a favourite, I love how nuts lend themselves to a variety of sweet & savoury dishes. Your candied ones are perfection!
Thanks much. I adore pistachios too, sweet or savory.
pretty as a pig’s ear…
It looks divine. The photos are gorgeous.
I hope I can remember this idea. It just sounds perfect!
Wow. How about pairing the sugared pistachios with the pig ears! 🙂
Sounds good to me. 🙂
The panna cotta sounds delicious. I suspect the pigs ear salad could be recreated with pork crackling. I’ve only cooked them on a head or whole suckling pig before, but they do become crunchy like the rest of the body. There’s a good recipe for pig’s ear salad in Nose to Tail Eating by Fergus Henderson 😉
The pig ear salad at Purple Pig is to die for. Someday we will have to try that at home.
Oh, the pistachios! This is probably the one and only time where a panna cotta would take a back seat to its accompaniment.
Have you been to Purple Pig? It really is great! Not at all what you expect in the midst of all the tourists on Michigan Avenue.
Wow thats the best looking panna cotta I had ever seen, gorgeous photos!
Aw, thanks, Raymund!
The next time I make panna cotta, I’m making this version…it sounds delicious.
Oh, do try it. Can you believe it’s the first time I ever tried panna cotta? I don’t know what was the matter with me.
Everyone should make it as it is one of the easiest desserts and oh so good. 🙂
Wow.. this looks fantastic! I love panna cotta and would love the crunchy bits over top. You’ve really taken a beautiful photograph as well.. do you use natural light? I’m going crazy trying to perfect my work and trying everything, lol:D
Too sweet! And, yes, natural light. In winter, I long for photography lights. But the last thing I need is one more thing to fill up my house!
Yay! Stunning, and as always Steve’s writing is so much fun to read.
On behalf of Steve (helped, of course, by my incisive editing), I thank you. 🙂
I love lemon with pistachio, so good work! I actually think panna cotta looks nicer, served in the glasses–more surface area for sugared nuts.
Thanks, Sacha. It is a yummy dish.
I’m back again! Just to tell you that your snow white Panna cotta took my breath away 🙂 And the way you treated Pistachio is so incredibly divine!
Outstanding photos 🙂
Thanks much. Can’t take much credit for it. But it is delicious!