Shaved Artichoke Salad

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 30 minutes

Ultra-thin slicing is handy for making salads from intensely flavored vegetables because the pieces are tender yet crisp and easier to eat. Cooked or marinated artichoke hearts are a great prepared addition to almost any salad, but for a real treat, one that is four-star-restaurant delicious, you must try this salad of shaved baby artichokes layered with Parmesan. Unbelievable.

Almost as good, considerably easier, and cheaper, is virtually the same salad made with button mushrooms or barely cooked sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes); see the variations.

1 lemon, plus 1 for garnish (optional)

8 baby artichokes, cleaned

Parmesan cheese, as needed

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chopped parsley or fresh basil leaves for garnish

01 Squeeze the juice of a lemon into a bowl of ice water. Slice the artichoke hearts (and bottoms, if they’re tender enough) as thinly as possible; as you slice them, drop them into the water (this will keep them from browning).

02 Thinly slice the Parmesan; you want about as many pieces as you have artichoke slices, and about the same size. Zest the second lemon if you’re using it. Remove the artichoke slices from the water and dry, then toss with the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of juice from the remaining lemon. Sprinkle with a little salt and a fair amount of pepper, then layer with the Parmesan. Taste and add more olive oil, lemon juice, salt, or pepper as needed, then garnish with herbs, and zest if you like, and serve immediately.

Variations

Sunchoke (Jerusalem Artichoke) Salad. The tougher sun-chokes must be parboiled: Scrub and trim about a pound of sunchokes, then put them in a small pan with salted water to cover; bring to a boil and cook just until barely tender, 7 to 10 minutes (they turn mushy fast). Plunge into the bowl of ice water with lemon juice, then cut into thin slices and proceed as directed.

Shaved Mushroom Salad. Really simple: Instead of using raw artichokes, use 1 pound button mushrooms sliced as thinly as possible. Proceed with the recipe, except there is no need to drop the mushroom slices in lemony water.