Artichoke Salad with Pesto
Updated 11:52 AM EDT, Tue, Feb 23, 2010
Artichoke Salad with Pesto from Chef Eric Ripert, Le Bernadin
The Braised Artichokes:
4 large artichokes
3 cups water
3 tablespoons salt
The Pesto and Salad:
1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¼ cup grated parmesan
½ cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
1 large artichoke
1 lemon, cut in half
1 ½ cup watercress leaves
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Fill a large bowl with water. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the water.
2. To prepare the artichokes for cooking, remove the stems. Using a small knife, start at the base of the artichoke and remove the leaves with your knife. Continue removing the leaves, until all leaves are gone. Next, remove all of the green flesh from the artichoke. If you leave any green flesh on the vegetable, it will turn brown while cooking. Using a spoon, scoop out the choke of the artichoke. As you finish each artichoke place in the bowl of lemon-water.
3. Heat the 3 cups of water and salt over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer.
4. Add the artichokes and cook until a knife is easily inserted in the center, about 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and cool the artichokes in the cooking liquid.
5. When the artichokes are cooled, strain and quarter the artichokes. Set aside.
6. For the pesto, place the basil, garlic, parmesan, ½ cup of olive oil and half of the pine nuts in a mini food processor or blender; add a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Process or blend until smooth.
7. Clean the last artichoke in the same manner as for the cooked artichokes and slice the artichoke very thinly, about 1/8 – inch thick. Place the sliced artichokes in a mixing bowl and toss with the watercress, freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper.
8. In a separate bowl, combine the braised artichokes and remaining pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Dress the artichokes with the pesto and plate in the center of each plate; garnish the top with the raw sliced artichokes and watercress; spoon more of the pesto around and serve immediately.