I’ve made this before, and I liked it, but this time – whether because using canned artichoke hearts turned out to be way more better than frozen, or that the Sartori cheese I roughly shaved over the top of everything was so good, or mebbe just because everything tastes better when tossed on top of good French bread that’s been drizzled with olive oil and lightly toasted in the oven – I. LOVED. IT.
So, with thanks and apologies to the contessa (for those canned ‘chokes):
•3 cans artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and quartered – mebbe eighths, next time
•4 cloves roasted garlic, halved
•1/4 cup olive oil
•Salt and pepper
•3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
•1 tsp Dijon mustard
•1 tbsp white wine vinegar
•1 tsp salt
•1/2 tsp pepper
•1/2 cup basil leaves
•1/2 cup olive oil
•1/4 cup capers
•2 roasted peppers (one red, one yellow), cut into thin strips
•1/2 cup minced red onion (about 1/2 of 1)
First, those canned ‘chokes:
Preheat the oven to 350º.
Rinse and drain the chokes, then roughly chop and toss in a bowl with the olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
Turn them out onto a sheet or other pan large enough to fit them all in one layer, and roast for 20 minutes.
Set aside to cool.
Next, the vinaigrette:
Place the shallot, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse to mince and combine into a fine mush.
Add the basil leaves and pulse until you get this bright, green purée.
With the processor running, drizzle the olive oil in through the feed tube until the vinaigrette is finely puréed and emulsified.
Transfer to a container and set aside.
Dress the cooled ‘chokes with some of the vinaigrette in a large bowl (save the rest to pass at the table), then toss with the roasted pepper strips, capers, and red onion.
Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, then let rest for 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend and serve at room temperature.
I transferred mine to a covered bowl and stashed it in the fridge overnight, then pulled it out and brought up to room temperature so we could make The Bruschetta: slice a loaf of good French bread (our local Jewel makes a surprisingly good one) and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet.
Drizzle lightly with olive oil and pop into a 350º oven until just lightly toasted.
Remove from the oven, arrange on a platter and top with the artichoke salad and shaved Sartori cheese (you good use a nice asiago or provolone, too).
I had made a lot of tasty goodies for this gathering (ermmm, if I do say so myself), but this was the platter I kept returning to – well, hovering over, really.