Looking for a delicious and healthy accompaniment to a meal, one that will impress? Look no further. Romans pride themselves on the exquisite preparation of the artichoke, and now you can, too.
2 purple (viola) artichokes (green will do, if that’s all you can find!)
1 large lemon
1 blood orange
1 small (wild) fennel, well washed
1/4 cup EVOO from Tuscany, preferably
1 oz pecorino Toscano D.O.P. shaved in thin flakes (any fresh, high quality pecorino will do!)
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
Wash, clean (remove the outer layer) and cut the artichokes in half. Discard the fuzzy center of the artichokes.
Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a medium-sized ceramic or glass bowl. Add a cup of cold water
Slice the artichokes thinly, with a Japanese mandolin if you have it, and place them in the bowl (lemon juice and water bath will prevent the artichokes from darkening)
Repeat the same process with the fennel
Mix the artichokes cut with lemon juice and drain
Add the EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), some pinches of whole sea salt and pepper to taste
Peel the orange and slice in thin rounds.
Serve the artichoke salad and garnish with thin flakes of Pecorino Sardo (or re-use the Toscano), the greens of the fennel and the blood oranges. Finish with a touch of fresh ground black pepper.