Wednesday, December 15, 2010

White bean and artichoke salad

This is a tasty and tangy salad, inspired from a recipe in Fresh Every Day. For most people living in freezing temperatures right now, many of the ingredients will not be bursting through your soil till spring. However, the beans, artichokes, and onions are from my storage, so if you simply put it in a wrap or eat it alone, you could have a nice taste of summer right now.

  • 1 C cannelinni beans, rehydrated and cooked
  • 4 small artichokes, steamed or boiled
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, chopped (you can leave this out if they're not in season)
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
  • 4 sprigs mint, chopped
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 t salt
  • few dashes cayenne pepper
  • fresh arugula (or another green, or no greens and just on its own)
When artichokes first came into season after I moved to San Francisco, I bought them by the bag full, typically about 10 at a time. I knew that they wouldn't be in season all year, so I decided that I had to store them for future use. 

There are a few ways to store artichokes. Canning or pickling them seemed too wasteful, so I turned to freezing them. Basically, I simply cooked them, steamed or boiled, and then stuck them in the freezer. This is the first recipe I used my frozen chokes in. They take a little bit extra work than canned chokes, but taste great.

You can't use the entire choke because most of the outer leaves are too tough. I peeled off the outer leaves, made a nice dipping sauce, and ate them. You only need to peel off the leaves until you get to the ones that start to turn a lighter color.

Once you get to that point, simply chop off the top portion and then cut the choke into whatever type of pieces you want. I cut mine from stem to tip (lengthwise), to eight pieces.

Add this to the other chopped veggies and the beans. 

I used Italian parsley and mint, but the original recipe called for tarragon. Use whatever bright herbs you've got on hand (parsley, mint, basil, tarragon, lavender, etc). Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and mix well. Let this sit overnight in the fridge to really allow the flavors to meld. Serve over fresh arugula.

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