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meatless monday: globe artichoke and burrata with candied lemon salad

June 28, 2010

This salad will make you forget you even LIKE meat.  This salad will make you wish that it was summer all year long, so you could just sit around and eat this all day long.  This salad will do your dishes.  Okay, maybe not the last one, but it would be nice and given how delightful this is, you’ll be okay with doing your own dishes.

Ottolenghi is my newest cooking phase.  First it was Bill, now Yotam. Ever since I added his Guardian column to my Google reader feed, I’m inspired to try just about everything, but this recipe jumped out the most.  Not to mention that everything at the market seemed like it fell straight out of the heavens.  We’re finally experiencing warm weather after coming out of some seriously cold, dreary weeks and I think as a result, it was a collision of spring meets summer fruit and veg.  Shamefully, this was my first real experience taking apart a whole artichoke (I know, I know!) and I’ll post separately how that went, but while the artichoke dismemberment and the candying of the lemons took some more work than I usually commit to these things, it was worth every bit of effort.

Globe artichoke and burrata salad with candied lemons
slightly adapted from Ottolenghi’s recipe

ingredients

salad

  • 4 large globe artichokes
  • 3 lemons, halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 150g gem lettuce leaves, roughly chopped (I used half a head of garden variety leafy lettuce)
  • 200g buffalo mozzarella
  • 10g each chopped parsley, mint and basil
  • 120ml olive oil
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

candied lemon

  • 1 lemon
  • 35g sugar (a little over an 1/8 cup)

directions

prepare the artichokes

  1. Remove and discard the artichoke stems, then remove the leaves until you reach the heart. (follow-up post on “anatomy of an artichoke” to come)
  2. As you work, smear the artichokes with the juice of one lemon, so they don’t discolour.
  3. Cut this in two lengthways and use a small knife to clear all the tough leaves and hairs, so you’re left with a clean shell.
  4. Place halved artichoke hearts in a large sauce pan filled with water.
  5. Rinse and repeat with the other artichokes
  6. Put the prepared artichokes in a large sauce pan, squeeze in the juice of the other two lemons and throw in two squeezed halves as well.
  7. Cover with water, add the bay, thyme, onion and plenty of salt, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Lift out the artichokes and leave to cool.

prepare the candied lemon

  1. Using a vegetable or potato peeler to shave off wide strips of zest (avoiding the white pith).
  2. Cut into 1-2mm thick slices, or julienne.
  3. Put lemon strips into a medium sauce pan.
  4. Juice the lemon and then add water to make up to 100ml; pour into the pan.
  5. Add the sugar, bring to a light simmer and cook for 12-15 minutes, until reduced to about a third. Set aside to cool.

KC confession: I read the recipe too quickly (shocking!) and thought I was supposed to peel and julienne all 4 of the lemons listed above.  Mr. KC diligently peeled and julienned all of these lemons. Ooops.  We now have lemon zest to last a lifetime in the freezer.

assemble the salad

  1. Lay down the washed and dried lettuce leaves.
  2. Cut the artichoke halves into quarters and arrange on a platter with the lettuce.
  3. Break the cheese into large, uneven chunks and dot the salad with them.
  4. Stir together the herbs, oil and garlic, season liberally with salt and spoon over the vegetables and cheese.
  5. Scatter some candied zest on top and drizzle with a little syrup (or all of it, I loved what the syrup added to the salad).
  6. Finish with a healthy sprinkle of black pepper.
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