Artichoke and Cannellini Bean Salad

Recipes, Starters

This is a great salad to enjoy with a simple roasted chicken. We like to serve the salad on top of the artichoke heart (the very best part), which makes for a dramatic presentation. You could also chop up the hearts, toss with the rest of the salad, and serve on its own or on a bed of greens, making it more of a salad. If you’re entertaining, the artichokes and beans can be cooked a day or two in advance and stored in their respective cooking liquids until ready to serve.

 

Artichoke and Cannellini Bean Salad

 

1 cup dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight and rinsed in cold water

6 cups chicken stock

4 sprigs each fresh rosemary and thyme

4 cloves garlic, crushed

Sea salt and ground pepper

2 lemons, halved

4 large artichokes

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbs. white wine vinegar

1 Tbs. snipped fresh chives

16 white oil-packed anchovy fillets

1 cup shaved pecorino cheese

1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

 

In a large saucepan, combine beans, stock, 2 rosemary sprigs, 2 thyme sprigs and 2 garlic cloves. Season well with salt and pepper. Place over  high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Remove from heat and let cool in cooking liquid. When cooled, drain beans.

 

Meanwhile, fill a bowl with cold water and squeeze juice from 2 lemons into water. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, snap off tough outer leaves until you reach pale green inner leaves that form a cone. Cut off cone of leaves flush with where they meet bottom. Cut off stem to create a flat base. Then, with a vegetable peeler, trim off stringy layers where stem met bottom and where larger outer leaves were snapped off. As each artichoke bottom is trimmed, drop it in lemon water.

 

When all 4 artichokes are trimmed, drain, transfer to a saucepan, and cover with cold water. Add bay leaf, 2 rosemary sprigs, 2 thyme sprigs, 2 garlic cloves, and 1 teaspoon salt and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender when pierced with a knife, 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool in cooking liquid.

 

In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil and vinegar. Add drained beans and chives to vinaigrette. Toss to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Remove artichokes from cooking liquid and pat dry with paper towels. Using a teaspoon, scoop out furry choke from center of each artichoke bottom. Place each bottom on an individual plate. Top with bean mixture and scatter anchovies, pecorino and parsley on top. Serve at once. Serves 4.

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