Raw artichokes? Yes, raw artichokes. Cast aside those thoughts of chewing through cardboard. That might be the case if you used regular artichokes. But this salad is made with baby artichokes - the ones that measure only about three inches long and are in markets right now.
Even so, you can't just bite right into these artichokes. They do look a bit foreboding with those prickly leaves, don't they? There's a bit of prep work to do first, including stripping off all of those pesky outer leaves. For those of you who might be thinking what a waste that is, you can recycle the leaves by cooking them in water and making vegetable broth to use in risotto, soups or stews. Once you've stripped off enough leaves to get down to the very tender interior, trim the stem all the way around.
Then slice off the top section of the artichoke to get rid of the prickly part.
Cut the artichoke in half. At this point, if you were trimming regular size artichokes, you'd have to scoop out the center choke. But in these baby artichokes, it's still quite tender, so leave it in.
Cut into very thin slices.
Have ready a bowl of acidulated water (water with lemon juice or vinegar), or the dressing you're going to use for the salad, and immediately drop the slices into that. Otherwise, the artichoke will oxidize and turn brown very quickly.
Then prepare the other ingredients: wash the arugula, slice the mushrooms and shave some strips from a piece of parmesan cheese (I use a vegetable peeler to do this). Toss everything with the dressing and I promise you, cardboard will be the last thing on your mind.
For a tutorial on trimming large, globe artichokes and a recipe for artichoke risotto, click here.
Raw Artichoke Salad
It's hardly a recipe, just a list of ingredients mixed with a vinaigrette.
white button mushrooms
extra virgin olive oil
Prepare the dressing by mixing 1 part lemon juice to 2 parts extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Wash the arugula and mushrooms. Slice the mushrooms. Trim the artichokes and slice thinly. Toss the artichokes, the mushrooms and arugula with the dressing and mix with shavings of parmesan cheese.