Lemon Balsamic Artichoke Salad
Growing up I never ate artichokes; they were one of those foreign vegetables to me. To be perfectly honest I thought they looked strange and so consequently I just assumed they would be terrible. Even after living in Italy for 9 years, I still hadn’t tried them. Carciofi or artichokes are a winter time staple in most Italians’ diet. With good reason, they are an excellent source of folate, fiber, and vitamins C and K. Artichokes are also full of antioxidants, in fact, they are # 7 on the USDA’s list of top antioxidant foods. Could artichokes are the secret to many Italians’ healthy lives and longevity? My mother-in-law prepares them in a variety of ways: fried, sauteed, or like this recipe. It wasn’t until last year, while I was taking an olive oil tasting course that I decided to try them. You see, in the olive oil world the smell and taste of artichoke is one of the positive attributes a good extra virgin has, so in order to be able to taste olive oil properly I needed to know what carciofi smelled and tasted like. I am so thankful I finally tried them because now they are now one of my favorite vegetables and this salad is quite possibly (in my opinion) the most delicious way to eat them.
It is important to note that I did not invent this recipe, this salad is a classic in Tuscany and is more or less always prepared the same way. The hardest part about preparing this salad is learning how to properly cut out artichokes hearts. If you are unfamiliar with how to do that, please watch this demonstration. Also, if you’re not using the artichoke hearts immediately then put them in a bowl of lemon water so they don’t turn brown. I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I would love to hear how you prepare artichokes at home!
- 4 to 5 artichoke hearts
- 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar (add more or less depending on preference)
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- 3/4 cup shaved parmesan*
- Salt and pepper to taste
- *for the best taste, purchase a piece of Parmegiano Reggiano cheese and shave your own pieces with a knife.
- Cut artichoke hearts into thin slices and place in a bowl.
- Mix in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice and stir until well combined. Add salt and pepper.
- Pour artichokes into serving bowl and sprinkle parmesan on top.