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Parmesan-Roasted Artichoke Salad, Apple-Tarragon Vinaigrette

Parmesan and Artichokes are a natural pair, I’d say.saladartichoke.jpg
So I’ve roasted them here and combined them with leaf lettuce tossed in a Tarragon-apple vinaigrette. The tarragon aroma makes a rich-tasting contrast to the sharp artichoke.  The apple juice-oil gives the salad a pleasing silk-like feel on the tongue.  But that’s me. If you make this dressing, add comments here or shoot me an email.Recipe: (serves two)
Ingredients:
4 leaves red-tip lettuce, washed and dried
4 leaves Romaine lettuce, washed and dried
1 French baguette, frozen solid. You won’t use the whole baguette, only enough for 6 slices
6 canned or frozen artichoke hearts
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbs Extra Virgin olive oil
fresh grinding of Black Pepper
1/4 cup Pine nuts (optional)
For Vinaigrette:
2 Tbs Canola oil
2 1/2 tsp Apple Cider vinegar
2 tsp Apple juice
1/4 to 1/2 tsp dried Tarragon
1/4 tsp salt

Method:
Vinaigrette: 
whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients and let stand for 30 minutes or a little longer so the flavors develop.
Artichoke hearts: 
1. Drain the artichoke hearts and carefully insert the parmesan cheese between the leaves.
2.  Place the stuffed artichoke hearts on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with fresh black pepper and roast in a 350º oven for 20 minutes. If after baking them you want more color, you can place them under a broiler
for 2 minutes. Set them aside to cool.
Baguette toasts:
1.  The baguette is frozen so that you can easily slice six very thin slices, bias cut. Use a mandolin or a very sharp bread knife. Place the slices on a sheet pan.
2.  Carefully brush olive oil on the bias-cut baguette slices and bake them in a 350º oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.  NOTE:  These baguette toasts are really elegant and they crunch almost ephemerally.  But if you can’t get that thin slice, all’s well since cubed crunchy croutons will be great too. See them in the picture?

Tear or cut the lettuce into medium size pieces. Toss with the vinaigrette (taste and adjust salt if necessary).  Arrange all the ingredients on a plate as shown. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the salad. Serve at once.

Bon Appétit

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