This is a lovely quick fix salad. It’s simple and this is the one of the few times I will tell you to make your life easy by buying ready bottled artichokes. A few tips, though: If you are going to buy something that is ready in a jar, please buy the best possible quality you can afford. This will go a long way in the recipe. Or, even easier, hop across to your favourite deli and you are more than likely to find a good choice of artichokes.
Buy a beautiful soft buffalo melt-in-your mouth mozzarella…AND, If you can find buratta, please, please use this cheese in this recipe. At first it looks like a normal ball of mozzarella, but as you split it, a lovely creamy buttery curd is reveled. It truly is the Cheese of the Gods….Unfortunately we don’t find it in Kenya, but this is one of my indulgences when I travel…
- 250 gms of whole artichoke, sliced into quarters
- ½ ball of mozzarella per person roughly torn or 1 small ball of burrata (Seriously, I can easily get through one of these in one sitting, on my own. I know, this is really and truly my weakness…sigh. )
- 1 packet of rucola
For the artichoke marinade
- 1 tsp of garlic
- 1 tsp of crushed pink and green peppercorns
- 1 tsp crushed fennel
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- 6 tbs oil from the artichoke jar or fresh olive oil
For the Orange- Balsamic vinegar drizzle
- 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice
- 2 tbs of excellent quality balsamic vinegar
- Cracked black pepper and salt for seasoning
- 1 tsp of honey
Combine all the ingredients for the Orange-Balsamic Vinegar. I do like the shake-it-all-up-in-a-jar method, so do just that. Place in the fridge until just before serving.
Combine all the ingredients for the artichoke marinade, crush in a mortar and pestle and spread over the sliced artichokes. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour, if you have the time.
Place the washed rucola on your serving plate. Place a few slices of artichoke and drizzle with the marinade. Add the torn mozzarella. I say torn, because I have some sort of adversity to sliced mozzarella…it just feels wrong! Perhaps also because I’ve seen versions of cheap rubbery mozzarella that remind me of student pizza!
If you have buratta, gently split the ball, but not all the way through, letting the curd spill out gently.
Just before serving, shake up the orange-balsamic vinegar drizzle and spoon over the entire dish.