Insalata di Carciofi

This is a bright and very lemony salad, with shaved raw artichokes marinated in lots of lemon juice and olive oil–a few days is better than a few hours.  The arugula is then piled on and dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.  All is topped with shards of shaved pecorino, which provides the nutty richness that tempers the otherwise sharp, acidic flavors of artichoke, arugula and lemon.

 Insalata di Carciofi

 Serves 4

8 – 10 baby artichokes, cleaned by slicing off the top 1/2″ or so, then peeled until only the lightest green, tender leaves are exposed

juice of 3 1/2 lemons

4 tbls extra-virgin olive oil

pecorino sardo (pecorino romano will do, if you can’t find sardo) for shaving

salt and pepper to taste

In a mixing bowl large enough to hold artichokes, combine all but 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

Shave artichokes on mandoline slicer directly into lemon juice and oil mixture, immediately tossing to coat them with oil and lemon. Be very careful of cutting your fingers–this is a delicate operation.

Allow artichokes to marinate, refrigerated, overnight, if possible.

When ready to assemble salad, Dress arugula with remaining oil and lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste.  Spread a layer of artichokes on the bottom of each plate.

 Top with a mound of dressed arugula.  Shave  cheese liberally over the top.  Add some extra black pepper and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

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