A Delicious French Salad!



Use Globe and Poivrade artichokes if they are available

Refreshing Artichoke Salad by Christian Constant

Early this year, we launched cooking lessons for guests inthe Michelin starred kitchens of the Violon d’Ingres.  This excellent restaurant has become a favorite in the 7th arrondissement among Parisian locals and businessmen alike.  The lessons have also been a success, thanks to the hard work of Head chef Stefan Schmidt. He offers small group lessons for our guests most Monday mornings.

I popped in one day and was the lucky recipient of a tasting of his excellent Artichoke Salad, or Salade d’Artichauts.  The salad is light, low calorie and refreshing.  If you don’t care for artichokes, the vinaigrette alone is worth saving.

Salade d’Artichauts
Artichoke Salad

Ingredients for 4 servings

2 globe artichokes
6 violet or poivrade artichokes (Violet are versions of poivrade artichokes. This smaller variety has almost no choke and the inner half is very tender.  Taste is somewhat bitter, a little hazelnut and also delicious sliced thinly)
4 handfuls aragula
200 g (7 oz) cultivated mushrooms
100g (3 1/2 oz) shallots
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 bunch chervil
1 qt. white stock* (*Powdered chicken stock may be substituted)
1 3/4 oz. olive oil

2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
5 oz. peanut oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Prepare the vinaigrette:  In a bowl, combine the mustard, sherry vinegar and peanut oil, season with sale and fresh ground pepper.

Rinse the globe artichokes, remove the exterior leaves and the hairy inner chokes and quarter the artichoke bottoms.  In a saucepan, saute’ the bottoms in olive oil; season with salt and pepper, add half of the stock.  Cover and cook over low heat until the liquid reduces by half; remove from the heat.

While this mixture cools, rinse the poivrade artichokes, remove the outer leaves and cut each in half lengthwise.  Saute’ them in a little olive oil, without browning, season until tender. Spoon the cooking juices over the artichokes and let cool.

Risen the aragula and spin dry. Mince the shallots. rinse and finely chop the herbs.  Rinse the mushrooms and slide thinly.

Divide the aragula among the plates and add the artichokes.  Sprinkle with the mushrooms, shallots and chopped herbs.  Spoon the vinaigrette over and serve.

Cooking lessons by Christian Constant

Cooking lessons by Christian Constant

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