Artichoke Panzanella - A Recipe Worth Repeating
Don't let Spring Go By Without It
Last year I posted a recipe for Artichoke Panzanella Salad which received some attention at the time, not least because Fred declared it to be "The Best Thing You Ever Did". I could almost barely wait to make it again this year. Sometimes when I see a favourite vegetable re-appear at the market after months and months of absence, I play a little game with myself. I make myself wait a bit longer. I try not to buy it, at least until the next week comes round. I have been avoiding the artichokes for a few weeks, but last Saturday it seemed like exactly the right moment. The medium artichokes from Iacopi ($1 each or $5 for half a dozen) were absolutely perfect. They couldn't have been more easy to prepare and the salad couldn't have been more delicious. If you are new to my blog, or you didn't make this last year, your time is now...
Stage 1 - Prepare the Artichokes:
- Prepare 3 medium 6 medium/small artichokes, trimming the tough outer leaves, halving to remove the choke and then cutting each half into three or four depending on the size. (For top notch instructions on artichoke preparation look here.)
- In a saucepan, prepare a cooking liquid using 2 1/2 cups of water, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup white wine, the juice of two lemons, 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, 2 garlic cloves (unpeeled but smashed with a knife), a couple of sprigs of thyme, one bay leaf, salt and pepper.
- Drop the prepped artichokes into the liquid, cover loosely and bring to the boil.
- Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until the artichokes are tender.
- Drain, removing the herbs and garlic and then toss the vegetables with tablespoon of olive oil, 1 medium garlic clove, minced, the zest of a small lemon plus salt and pepper to taste.
Stage 2 - Prepare the Salad:
Prepped Artichokes (see Stage 1 above)
1 day-old loaf rustic white bread or pain au levain or similar
1/2 cup Olive Oil, (plus more for the bread)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 cup cured green olives, pitted (mixed olives work too)
1/2 lb arugula salad
2 oz Manchego cheese, grated (four ouces won't do the salad any harm either and shavings work
salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Remove crusts from the bread and cut into cubes.
- In a large bowl, toss the bread with enough olive oil to soak into the cubes and season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the cubes on a large baking tray and pop in the oven for about 10 minutes until they are crisp and golden.
- Mix the vinegars in a bowl with salt and pepper. Whisk in 1/2 cup of olive oil slowly, until the dressing blends and emulsifies.
- In a large bowl toss together the artichokes, bread, olives and the vinaigrette and leave to marinate for at least 10 minutes.
- Immediately prior to serving toss in the arugula leaves and the
Sample the salad and then adjust salt and pepper to taste.
PS I learnt to make this salad at Tante Marie's Cooking School the year before last, in a class taught by Jessica Lasky who adapted it from Everyday Greens by Annie Sommerville. The above recipe includes further adaptions from me.
PPS - Thank you all for all the wonderful and truly supportive comments on my previous April Fool's post. I laughed and cried with all of you. I have made my peace with Justin Berton and Michael Bauer but I never heard back from Stacy Finz.
PPS - I hope nobody really expected me to get all crafty...?