Artichoke Salad, Parmigiano Reggiano PDO, arugula and pine nuts

By Lauren Mulvey

In Italian cuisine, artichokes are a favorite ingredient. They can be cooked in a variety of ways or added to dishes, like salads, for extra flavor and texture. Artichokes are native to Sicily and the earliest records of the vegetable were in Italy. In season between February and April, artichokes are particularly famous in Roman cuisine, and during this time, can be found in almost any fresh food market and on many restaurant menus. Just in time for artichoke season, make your own artichoke salad with crunchy roasted pine nuts, fresh arugula, and parmigiano.
A note from the chef: The ingredient quantities below are suggestions. The quantity of oil, salt and lemon juice used to dress the artichoke salad varies according to olive oil intensity and lemon acidity level. Additionally, the quantity of lemon is directly proportional to the bitterness of artichokes. Finally, how many artichokes per portion depends on the size of the artichokes (that are sold by the piece, not by the weight).

Ingredients (1 portion)

1.5 ea medium size Violetti Artichokes
40 gr Parmigiano Reggiano
35-40 gr arugula
10 gr Pine nuts
2 pinches of Salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice

Start by preheating the oven to 150o C. Put about 10 grams of pine nuts on a tray and place in the oven to toast for 10 minutes or until golden. Clean the artichokes and immerse them in a mix of water and lemon (one lemon squeezed for every two liters of cold water). After cleaning, thinly slice the artichokes lengthwise and dress them with a bit of lemon, parsley, oil and salt. Toss the artichokes in a bowl to mix. Then place your 35-40 grams of arugula on a plate and lay your artichoke salad in the center. Add more lemon, parsley and oil to taste. For a finishing touch, shave the Parmigiano Reggiano on top and decorate with the toasted pine nuts.