Spring Salad with Baby Artichokes and Peas
Celebrate the arrival of spring by combining several types of seasonal vegetables in this beautiful salad. Since you don’t cook the peas be sure to buy the freshest peas possible from the farmers’ market and use them within a few days of purchase, so they retain their tender texture and sweet flavor. If you can’t find fresh peas, simply omit them.
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 lb. (1 kg) baby artichokes
- 6 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 shallot, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) dry white wine
- 3 Tbs. white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1 head butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) fresh shelled English peas
- 2 oz. (60 g) pecorino cheese, thinly shaved
- 1/4 cup (1/3 oz.) torn fresh mint leaves
- Grated or thinly slivered lemon zest for garnish (optional)
Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the lemon juice. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, pull off the outer layer of tough leaves from the artichoke. Using a paring knife, peel and trim the stems, removing 1/8 inch (3 mm) from the base. Cut off the top 1/2 inch (12 mm) of the artichoke, then halve the artichoke lengthwise. Gently scoop out the fuzzy choke if it is prickly to the touch. Drop each artichoke in the lemon water as you are finished with it to prevent it from discoloring.
In a large sauté pan over medium-high, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. While the oil is heating, drain the artichokes. Arrange the artichokes in a single layer, cut side down, in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and sprinkle the garlic and shallot over the artichokes. Season with salt and cook until the bottoms of the artichokes start to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Add the wine to the pan and stir to combine. Cover the pan and cook the artichokes until a knife can easily be inserted into their stems, about 15 minutes. Remove the cover and increase the heat to high until all the liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
Transfer the artichokes to a platter and let cool.
While the artichokes are cooling, in a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 4 Tbs. olive oil, the vinegar, mustard, honey and a large pinch each of salt and pepper.
In a large serving bowl, combine the lettuce and peas. Add half of the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Add the cooled artichokes, cheese and mint to the bowl. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette to taste, toss and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen