When artichoke season begins in cold and damp March, we're eager to warm up with comforting braises and bakes. But now, at the tail end of the season, we're looking for light dishes that celebrate the artichoke while still being perfect for warm weather.
So last weekend, we pulled out the mandoline and riffed on the classic Italian white salad.
By slicing the artichokes paper thin, there's no need to cook them. Instead, you'll happily crunch through the nutty, slighty starchy vegetables, contrasted with some rich cheese, also thinly sliced. We like to add only the slightest touch of dressing, so everything stays light and airy, and the mild flavors shine through.
Recipe: Raw Artichoke, Mushroom, and Parmesan Salad
Serves one as a main course, two as an appetizer
juice from one large lemon
1 large artichoke
1 1/2 cups mixed greens, washed and dried
2 large crimini mushrooms (also called baby portobellos)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 oz parmesan cheese, thinly shaved
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
Begin by filling a medium-sized bowl with water and the lemon juice, then prep the artichoke. Cut off the stem, and the top inch and a half of the leaves.
Peel off all of the outer leaves, revealing the pale, almost white, tender inner leaves. Using a spoon or a melon baller, thoroughly remove the hair choke of the artichoke. Immediately place in the acidulated lemon water. (Recipe can be prepared to this step several hours ahead of time.)
When ready to serve, divide the greens between two plates. Drain the artichoke, and, using a mandoline, thinly slice it and the mushrooms. Drizzle the mushroom and artichoke slices with olive oil, add salt, and toss.
Arrange artichoke mixture on greens, top with shaved cheese, and sprinkle with coarse black pepper.
Images: Nina Callaway