Artichoke and Lemon Salad, talk about a mouth awakening experience. Beautifully cooked Italian artichokes tossed with thyme, olive oil, lemon juice, and a drizzling of honey. The uniqueness of this dish comes from the lemon rind slivers and the pistachio giving this salad surprise after surprise of freshness, flavor, and texture!
Song of the day: “Bigger than my body” by John Mayer.
Artichoke and Lemon Salad, inspired by my new cookbook “Jamie Cooks Italy”. Full fresh flavors meet acidity, sweetness, earthiness, and a whole lot of texture, absolutely delicious!
Artichokes are in season!
Talk about an amazing vegetable. Artichokes are one of those ingredients that always calls me to it, especially when in season and it is those small burgundy tainted ones from Italy.
Most people know the big spherical ones with the choke in the middle, however, these babies don’t have that in the middle which makes them easy to prep and eat.
Oh Where Oh Where are those little artichokes?
I know some of you will ask, “where do I find these Italian artichokes, well………. at your local Italian store or even sometimes in your supermarket. If you are in Italy, you will find them everywhere from organic markets, markets, local stores. In Rome artichokes during this time of year is a staple because you will not find a home without them in some form or fashion.
I am so grateful that I received this cookbook “Jamie Cooks Italy”. I was like a kid at Christmas, wide-eyed and with a smile from cheek to cheek as I pulled this book from a gift bag.
A big fan here of Jamie Oliver. He makes cooking easy and freeing. The way he takes food into the busy crazy lifestyles we have and makes it tangible, however, the thing I like best is Jamie uses great ingredients. Gotta love this guy’s enthusiasm and passion. Thanks, Jamie, for doing what you do.
I have had this dream in my mind. My mom has moved into a senior living place. There they have meals served and have to say they are not really great. They are not awful but they lack creativity, flavor, and texture. My dream is to have Jamie come and help me change that. Put some passion in that kitchen, after all, these people shaped the country we live in to give us a better life. I think they deserve some great food! I am putting it out there, who knows……………
Time to rock!
It is time to get to this Artichoke and Lemon Salad! Let’s gather up our ingredients and get to making this dish!
Our Shopping List………
- Italian artichokes
- fresh thyme
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
Look at the interesting coloration of the artichokes, just beautiful. However, there is an interesting process to this salad because you boil the lemon whole in salted water. What that does is tones down the tartness of the lemon rind which we are going to use, pure lemon candy!
The next step…….
After the lemon has boiled you take it out and place the artichokes in whole, not peeled back or tops trimmed, just as they are, only washed. I love the aroma of the water because it has this subtle lemony hit. That is going to infuse into the artichokes, plus, as a result, keeping them fresh looking!
Peeling and cutting……….
So let’s recap. Firstly boiled the lemon, secondly boiled the artichokes, now it is time to put this baby together. As the artichokes are cooling I take the lemon and cut it in half, scoop out the pulp and scrape the white flesh from the interior of the skin.
Then I sliver cut the lemon rind into these shoestring pieces.
Now that the artichokes are cooled, I peel the outer leaves off and continue until the edible soft tender leaves are reached. Usually, you will see a color change going from an olive green and burgundy to a paler yellowish green.
Time to cut the tips off about an inch and some followed by being quartered.
The Mortar and Pestle………..
I absolutely love using the mortar and pestle to make dressings, especially this one that is going to make the flavors of this salad explode with brightness!
Firstly we need to crush that garlic and sea salt into a paste. Secondly, the fresh thyme goes in and we start developing the layers of flavor for the dressing. In goes a drizzle of olive oil and you start to get the aromatics. Finally, some freshly squeezed lemon juice.
I am so excited, my taste buds are on the ‘OMG’ alert!
All it takes is a little sweetness………….
This is the bomb of this dish. Liquid honey. Can you just imagine the flavors of this salad tantalized by that smooth silkiness of the honey? It is going to balance the flavors so well, can’t wait!!!!!!
We have tossed the artichokes with the lemon slivers, dressing, now it is time to put the finishing touches. A little of this, a little of that, and bam! Kidding, we sprinkle some more fresh thyme, a dash of crushed pistachio and a nice squeeze of fresh lemon and now BAM! we are done!
I am going in fork and all. Have to make sure to get a little of everything. Artichoke, lemon sliver, some pistachio, and into my mouth you go! Okay, this is ridiculously amazing.
The tenderness of the artichoke is sensual. Soft, and love the way the leaves just break apart and release all that artichoke goodness.
Getting the great crunch from the pistachio and the sweetness of this nut really helps balance the acidity of the lemon.
I love how the garlic sits nicely in the backdrop giving a nice subtle bite to each mouthful, and that thyme is the perfect compliment to all that is happening in this dish.
What really strikes me is that honey. Its robust sweetness just lingers so lovingly on each artichoke and lemon slivers making it almost like candy to our taste buds!
This Artichoke and Lemon Salad is most noteworthy in my opinion. Its freshness and bright flavors and sultry texture entices you in every bite and thereafter.
Get the book!
Highly recommend you get this cookbook “Jamie Cooks Italy”. It is packed with amazing stories, recipes, and beautiful pictures stemming from the north of Italy to the south. This book is not only about cooking, it is truly an experience into the world of Italy! Cheers!
Song of the day: “Bigger than my body” by John Mayer.Print
Artichoke and Lemon Salad, Talk about a mouth awakening experience. Beautifully cooked Italian artichokes tossed with thyme, olive oil, lemon juice and a drizzling of honey. The uniqueness of this dish comes from the lemon rind slivers and the pistachio giving this salad surprise after surprise of freshness, flavor and texture!
- 12 Italian violet artichokes
- 2 large unwaxed lemons
- 1/2 clove garlic
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons liquid honey
- 1 handful shelled unsalted pistachios crushed
- Coarse sea salt
- Pinch of Fleur de sel
Artichokes and lemon:
- Place lemon into a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook for 30 minutes, take out and cool.
- Take the artichokes, wash them, and put in the same pot of boiling salted water that the lemon cooked in. Boil for 15-20 minutes or until knife tender. Take out and cool.
- While artichokes are cooling, cut the lemon in half. Scoop out the pulp and scrape the white flesh from the interior of the lemon skin.
- Cut lemon rind into thin slivers and set aside.
- Peel outer leaves of the artichokes until you get to the tender edible one on the interior. Cut about an inch and a quarter from the tip of the artichokes and then in quarters and place in a large bowl.
- In a mortar and pestle crush garlic and sea salt creating a paste.
- Add thyme from 4 sprigs and muddle into the garlic paste.
- Drizzle in olive oil and fresh lemon juice from 1/2 lemon and mix with the pestle.
- Add 3/4 of the lemon rind slivers to the artichokes and toss. Drizzle in dressing and mix well making sure dressing is evenly distributed.
- Place salad onto a board, garnish with last of the thyme, crushed pistachio, and a drizzle of lemon juice, and a sprinkling of fleur de sel.
- Ready to serve.
- This salad will last a couple of days. I had it the next day and it was fantastic.
- If you can’t find the Italian artichokes, use the ones you can find, but remember to take the choke out of the bottom middle and also allow a bit more time to cook.
- If you want to make it vegan, replace the honey with a vegan liquid sweetener.