Artichoke Salad


Artichokes are my favorite vegetable and I especially love artichoke salad.  This salad is made in the springtime when fresh baby artichokes are available.  However, fresh artichokes require a great deal of preparation before cooking.  You must first remove the a good deal of the hard outer leaves,  scoop out the fuzzy choke, and cook before using.  Frozen artichokes hearts, on the other hand, are easy to prepare and are every bit as good as the fresh ones.  This simple marinated artichoke salad takes only minutes to make and can be enjoyed any time of year.  I like to serve it with roasted chicken.  This salad is best made an hour or two before serving.

(Insalata di Cacócciuli/Insalata di Carciofi)

Difficulty Rating:  Easy
Makes 6 servings.

2 packages (12 ounces each) frozen artichoke hearts
2-3 plum tomatoes, diced (about 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons capers, drained
2 tablespoons minced Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Freshly ground black pepper

Cook artichokes according to package directions.  Allow artichokes to drain in a colander for 30 minutes.  Place the artichokes in a medium serving bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and toss gently until ingredients are combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Let sit 30 minutes at room temperature before serving to allow flavors to develop.

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