Artichoke and Sheep’s Cheese Salad
When I first tried this out with my friend Jonathan at Brindisa, he wanted it put on the menu immediately! If you can, use fresh peas from the garden, otherwise defrost frozen peas in some cold water – but they don’t need to be cooked.
Ideally this recipe should use Zamorano, a sheep’s cheese that has almost the same taste as the better-known Manchego but comes from a different region of Spain, Zamora, close to the border with Portugal. If you cannot find Zamorano, Manchego is now easy to find in the UK – most supermarkets stock it. Failing that, Parmesan will do.
Cooking the artichokes
- Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan, then fry the onion, shallot and garlic until soft. Chop up the tomatoes and stir the flesh and juices into the onion mixture. Sauté gently until the tomatoes are nicely collapsed – about 10 minutes.
- Add the wine and simmer for 4 minutes to evaporate the alcohol. Add the water. Return to the boil and add the artichokes, then simmer for 4 minutes, depending on their size; you want the artichokes to remain crunchy. Remove the artichokes and let them cool. Strain the liquid. Put the artichokes back into the liquid – this mixture will keep for a few days in the fridge
Preparing the salad
- Cook the artichokes as explained above
- Whisk the oil and vinegar together to make the dressing.
- Simply mix the artichokes, rocket, peas, pine nuts and cheese in a bowl, stir in the dressing, season and eat immediately.
Serves about 16
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 banana shallot, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 ripe tomatoes
- 200ml dry white wine
- 20 medium artichokes
- 800ml water
- 8 artichokes, cooked as explained
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Moscatel white wine vinegar
- 2 handfuls of wild rocket
- 125g podded peas
- 40g pine nuts, toasted
- 80g Zamorano cheese, shaved
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper