- 4 large globe artichokes (3½ lb)
- 3 lemons, halved
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- salt and black pepper
- 4 oz Little Gem lettuce leaves, cut crosswise into ³⁄8-inch strips
- 7 oz buffalo mozzarella
- 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- 1/3 cup mint leaves, chopped
- 1/3 cup basil leaves, chopped
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed Candied lemon
- 1 lemon
- scant 3 tbsp superfine sugar
- Working with 1 artichoke at a time, remove and discard the stem and hard outer leaves. Continue removing the leaves until you reach the heart and then cut the heart in half lengthwise. Use a small serrated knife to clear the heart of all the inedible bits – tough leaves and hairs – so you are left with a clean shell. As you do this, use the juice of 1 lemon to smear the artichokes so they don’t discolour. When all the artichoke hearts are trimmed, put them in a large saucepan, squeeze in the juice of the remaining 2 lemons and add 2 of the squeezed halves. Cover with water, add the bay leaves, thyme, onion and ½ tsp salt, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. Drain the artichokes and lemon, discarding the onion, bay leaves and thyme, and set aside to cool.
- To prepare the candied lemon, use a vegetable peeler to shave off wide strips of lemon rind; avoid the white pith. Cut the rind into long, paper-thin strips and place them in a small saucepan. Squeeze the lemon, measure the juice, and add water as needed to total 7 tbsp. Pour over the lemon rind, add the sugar, and bring to a light simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the syrup is reduced to about one-third of its original volume. Set aside to cool.
- To assemble the dish, cut the artichoke halves into wedges ¾ inch thick and arrange them on a serving platter with the lettuce. With your hands, break the mozzarella into large, uneven chunks and dot the salad with them. Stir together the herbs, olive oil and garlic and season with ¼ tsp salt; spoon this over the vegetables and cheese. Use a fork to scatter some candied rind on top and drizzle with a tiny amount of the syrup. Finish with a sprinkle of black pepper.
While Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson are still the biggest food stars in London, Yotam Ottolenghi is winning more fans all the time for his eponymous restaurants and best-selling cookbooks Ottolenghi, Jerusalem and Plenty, in which vegetables are the main attraction. Now Yotam is showing us more with Plenty More, a collection of 150 mouth-watering recipes that aim to change how we cook and eat veggies. – Chris Daniels
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