Grilled Artichoke and Endive Salad Recipe
Grilled artichoke and endive salad is one of the dishes I concocted in the tiny kitchen of the Parisian apartment we rented. Don't get me wrong, we loved the place where we stayed at. It's just that the kitchen had the bare minimum: a sink and a toaster-sized oven topped with 2 burners. First I steamed leeks, then grilled a red bell pepper, the endives and artichokes and coated pieces of Rocamadour cheese in herbs. The mixture makes a colorful, tasty first course.
I'm a little slow at sharing the recipes from our recent trip to Europe. It takes some time to process all the photos, so I promise they should be ready after the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Stay tuned!
In case you're wondering who the man in the collage is, he's one of the many vendors who operate stalls at the Daumesnil open air market on Tuesdays and Fridays. I was snapping photos as I meandered through the market and he begged me to take one of him. The merchants in Paris tend to have a lot of personality (they sing, they scream, they rhyme; whatever it takes to get people's attention) and they do their best to entice you to buy their food. He was quite a ham and was absolutely thrilled when I told him I'd post his picture on the site.
Yields: 2 servings2 purple artichokes
2 endives, halved and sliced lengthwise
1 tablespoon canola oil (or any neutral oil)
½ shallot, finely chopped
1 dozen long-stemmed giant caper berries (see tips)
1 red bell pepper
1 piece Rocamadour cheese (see tips), at room temperature
1 tablespoon fresh curly parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped
2 teaspoons passion fruit syrup (or any other sweeteners of your choice), optional
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
Coating the cheese in herbs: Cut the Rocamadour cheese into 1"-cubes. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and sprinkle with the chopped herbs, making sure the cheese is completely coated.
How to prepare the leeks: Trim the hairy root but make sure not to cut so high that all the leaves separate. Cut about 4 inches off of the long dark green top part of the leek as well. It's very fibrous and not as tender. You can save it for making vegetable stock. Remove a layer or two if the leaves are wilted.
Fill a large bowl of water and rinse the leeks. Try to open up the leaves and remove all the sand and dirt. Make sure the center portion is still intact so the vegetable holds together. Wash the leeks again under cold running water; there might still be more sand.
Place a steamer basket over a good amount of water in a large saucepan. Add the leeks to the basket. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes (depending on how thick the leeks are).
Let cool to room temperature. Cut the leeks into 1-½" pieces. Set aside.
Prepping the artichokes:
Place a large bowl filled with water in the sink. Swirl the artichokes upside down in the water. Make sure there is no dirt trapped between the leaves. Remove the tough outer leaves. Remove the stems using a sharp knife.
Boiling the artichokes:
Place the artichokes in the large saucepan. Cover with about 1-½ cups of water. The level of water should go one third of the way up the artichokes.
Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Throw the cut leaves and stems into the water of the pot (if you're planning on drinking the artichoke liquid, check the tip section). Cook for about 20 minutes until the bottoms of the vegetables are tender. A good way to check is to poke the choke with a paring knife.
Remove the artichokes from the saucepan and let stand for about 5-10 minutes. Drain the artichokes thoroughly and let them cool a little (do not rinse and let the liquid evaporate). Slice them in half length-wise using a sharp chef's knife. Using a spoon, scoop out the inside choke (inedible part).
In a large non-stick pan, heat the canola oil, add the shallots and cook until slightly golden. Add the red bell pepper, the halved artichokes and endives face down for about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan when caramelized. Let cool to room temperature.
Stem, seed and cut the red bell pepper into thin slices.
In a large bowl, combine the artichokes, endives, caramelized shallots, leeks, giant capers and 2 tablespoons of sliced red bell pepper. Reserve the rest of the red bell peppers for another recipe.
Drizzle with passion fruit syrup (if used), lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and white pepper. Toss well.
Prepare a pretty presentation of the salad on plates and add the herbed cheese.
If you don't mind the strong flavor, you could also add a few anchovies to the salad.
If you like, you can also drizzle vinaigrette over the salad (we didn't).
Serve with baguette bread.
My husband Lulu and I really enjoyed the salted packed capers we found at the market. If you don't have any, you could use regular capers or cornichons (small pickles). They will add a sharp, briny taste to the salad.
According to Wikipedia, Rocamadour is a French goat cheese from the regions of Périgord and Quercy. It takes its name from the commune of Rocamadour in the département of Lot. You could replace it with any other soft goat milk cheese.
Cooked artichokes do not refrigerate well, so prepare them right before serving.
You can keep the uncooked artichokes in the refrigerator for several days in the vegetable drawer. Make sure you wrap the stem with a moist paper towel to prevent oxidation. Alternatively, you can put them in a vase filled with room temperature, slightly sweetened water. It's pretty and it reminds you that they need to be cooked.
Don't discard the artichoke broth. Strain it and drink it. I know it's not that tasty (slightly bitter) but go for it. As a teenager, maman (my mother) always gave us the artichoke broth to drink. She used to call it the detox diet drink for smooth, flawless skin, and it does work. It's a diuretic. Maman would always praise its therapeutic qualities and I guess it stuck with me. From time to time, I do have this diet drink.Published By: on January 21, 2011.