Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shaved Raw Artichoke Salad (Page 140)

RECIPE #1106

  • Date: Sunday, February 14, 2010 -- 8pm
  • Location: Palo Alto, CA
  • Kitchen: Emilee and Brian's Apartment
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Emilee, and Brian
  • Recipe Rating: B

I made this recipe as part of our Valentine's Day dinner with Emilee and Brian last weekend. I started by taking two artichokes and going through the usual process of cutting, peeling, prying, and scooping until I had discarded everything but the artichoke hearts and then I rubbed the two hearts with lemon. I trimmed two cremini mushrooms and rubbed them with lemon also. I squeezed some lemon juice into a bowl, then using a mandoline I shaved very thin slices of artichoke heart and mushroom into the bowl and tossed them with the lemon juice. I added olive oil, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper. Then I plated the salad and put shaved pieces of Parmigiano-Reggiano on top. I then drizzled with a bit more olive oil. This salad was unusual. The Book said that it would have a "bosky flavor." I had to look that one up. It turns out that it means: "Of or relating to woods." Brian phrased it differently: "It tastes like dirt." I would call it extra-earthy. Besides the earthiness the dish had a pronounced flavor of lemon, and a saltiness from the cheese. I had never eaten an artichoke raw before and texturally it was pretty interesting -- similar to celery root in its earthy crispiness. One thing that was shocking about this recipe was what a small quatity of salad it made. I suppose the body of the salad was only 2 mushrooms and 2 artichoke hearts, so I shouldn't have been surprised. What you see in the photo above is a full one-fourth of what the recipe makes. I don't know that I would make this dish again, but I enjoyed eating it well enough. If you like very earthy flavors, this is an interesting salad to try. If you don't like the taste of woods, this is not the dish for you.

The recipe is here.

Ah, Saturday! So far this winter most of our weekends have involved traveling, or being apart, or have just been crammed full of activity. It has been a while since my special gentleman and I have had a lazy, relaxing weekend day, just the two of us. Today, we had such a day and it was wonderful! We started the day with a four mile walk that included stops to deposit some checks, mail some things, get passport photos taken, get our H1N1 vaccines, etc... I don't particularly love running errands, but I enjoy them much more when I can walk to do them, and particularly when have the company of someone I love! After our morning constitutional, we came home and had a lunch of leftovers from our dinner last night from The Book. In the afternoon I ran some more errands, did some work, laid around. This evening I have some baking I want to do. It has just been a tremendously relaxing and refreshing day -- everything that I look for in a Saturday!

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