The Be Well Recipe: Fennel & Artichoke Salad With Grapefruit

This salad makes me so happy. There’s no sacrifice of flavor with this dish – or with the way I eat generally. Olive oil is so nice with artichoke and fennel, which get shaved thin so you get their fresh crunch without aggressive fibrous toughness. To keep that delicate crispness, have the vinaigrette ready to go so the vegetables don’t sit before getting dressed. I use just a little bit of ricotta salata for its nice crumbly-creamy texture. If you have pine nuts hanging around, toast them and toss them on top for another rich accent.

 

Fennel and Artichoke Salad with Grapefruit
 
Ingredients
  • For the salad:
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 1 large artichoke, prepped (see prep guide below)
  • ¼ cup Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette (see recipe below), plus more to taste.
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • 1½ ounces ricotta salata, sliced and broken into shards
  • Jacobsen flake finishing sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • For the vinaigrette:
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • ¼ garlic clove, grated on a Microplane
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Jacobsen flake finishing sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Pick off and reserve the fronds from the top of the fennel. Run the fennel bulb and stems on a mandoline to create paper-thin slices, then mandoline the prepped artichoke heart (below) as well. Toss the fennel and artichoke slices in a large bowl with the dressing to prevent oxidation.
  2. Trim the top and bottom of the grapefruit, then use a paring knife to cut off all the pith and peel. Reserve the peels. Holding the grapefruit over the fennel and artichokes, cut out the segments between the memranes. Cut the segments into bite-size pieces and add to the bowl. Squeeze all the juice you can from the membranes, then discard. Gently toss and add more dressing to taste.
  3. Divide the mixture among serving plates and top with the parsley, avocado, and ricotta salata. Zest some of the reserved grapefruit peel on top, then sprinkle with the reserved fennel fronds. Season with salt and pepper and reserve immediately.

 
Artichoke Prep Guide
 
Instructions
  1. Cut a lemon in half, squeeze the halves into a medium bowl, and drop in the rinds (this is your acidulated water). Add cold water to a depth of 4 inches or so. Pull the rough outer leaves off the artichoke. You do this step by hand, because you have more control that way.
  2. Turn the artichoke upside down and cut off all the dark green leaves with a sharp paring knife, turning the artichoke in your hand while you slice with the other. Turn it right side up, trim the stem to 1 inch, and run the knife up the stalk to remove all the darker green peel around the stem.
  3. As you cut, keep dipping the artichoke and knife in the acidulated water to prevent oxidation. Cut off and discard the purple flower at the top, then scrape out the furry choke in the center. Keep the prepped heart in the acidulated water while you work on the rest of the artichokes you're going to use.

 
Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
 
Instructions
  1. In a glass jar, combine the lemon zest and juice, vinegar, mustard, garlic and oil with a large pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper.
  2. Seal the jar tightly and shake well. Season with salt and pepper. Shake again just before serving.

Reprinted with permission from Real Food Heals, (Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group USA LLC, a Random House Company). Copyright 2017, Seamus Mullen