|Italian Lentil Salad with Artichokes, Cippolini Onions and Balsamic Vinegar
From Chef Ben Davis, Passionate Palette Cooking School 303.754.0005
9 small or 4 large fresh artichokes
2 cups red wine
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
1 sprig rosemary
3 sprigs Italian parsley
2 sprigs basil
3 cloves garlic
2 shallots-peeled and sliced
2 roma tomatoes-coarsely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 cups Italian or French green lentils
1 /2 cup pancetta-cut into small chunks
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
Reserved broth from cooking the artichokes
1 bunch Italian parsley-coarsely chopped
12 Cippolini onions
Olive oil for roasting and garnish
Good quality balsamic vinegar for garnish
1. Slice off the tip of the artichoke and peel off the tough outer leaves. Trim the stems to 1” and pare off the outer skin. Rub the entire artichoke with a cut lemon and drop into the water. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.
2. In a non-reactive saucepan, arrange the artichokes, stem side up. Add the water, both the lemons cut in half, the wine, vinegar, herbs, garlic, shallots, tomatoes, olive oil and black pepper to taste. Bring this mixture to a simmer on the stove, cover and place in a 350oF oven for 25-35 minutes or until the artichokes are tender.
3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the liquid. Strain the liquid and reserve.
4. Toss the onions with 2 Tb. of olive oil and roast in a 350 F oven until soft. When cool enough to handle peel, quarter the onions, and set aside.
5. Heat a large saucepan and add the pancetta. Cook until most of the fat is rendered out then add the celery and carrots and sweat until they are soft. Add the lentils and stir to combine. Add some of the artichoke cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Continue adding the liquid until the lentils are tender and the liquid is almost gone. Allow the lentils to cool to room temperature.
6. In a large bowl, combine the onions, lentils and artichokes, which you have cut into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and serve at room temperature. Serves 4-6
-Chef Ben Davis, Passionate Palette Cooking School 303.754.0005