Artichoke and Blood Orange Salad (with frisee, parsley, and cardamom)
Going through older post drafts, I’m always a bit startled when I come across a photo that I actually really like! It always seems to me that surely I must have posted all the good photos already, and only left the dregs as drafts. But apparently not.
Salad may not seem that exciting, but for me it’s revolutionary. In fact, so are blood oranges – I can’t stand regular oranges, but blood oranges taste just different enough. The redder they are, the better they taste. I can’t tell if that’s a real difference, or if I just like that the reddest ones look less like oranges. We made this during the height of Dave’s obsession with stovetop approximated sous vide cooking, and my obsession with finding salads I actually enjoy eating.
I think what won me over was the realization that salads could include fruit and spices and artistry, and not just a bunch of leaves on a plate. Who knew?
Artichoke and Blood Orange Salad
2 small heads frisee, removed from base and cleaned
1/4 C coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
for the pickled artichokes
8 artichoke hearts, cut into eighths (held in acidulated water)
150 gm white wine vinegar
1.5 gm gelatin (optional — don’t bother if you have a chamber vac)
1 quarter preserved lemon, rind only, coarsely chopped.
4 cardamom pods, crushed
2 cloves garlic, crushed
for the blood oranges
4 blood oranges
1 tsp ground cardamom
for the vinaigrette
2 tbsp mustard seed oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
fleur du sel
First, make the pickled artichoke hearts.
This is actually a pretty spectacular method for doing sous vide cooking with liquidy contents inside the vacuum sealed bag without having a hugely expensive chamber vacuum sealer. Ordinarily, a FoodSaver or other normal, affordable home vacuum sealer can’t seal up anything that isn’t pretty dry, because the liquid gums up the works (as it were).
To solve this problem, we hit upon the idea of gelling the liquid with gelatin, since gelatin is thermoreversible and melts back into liquid when heated. This turns the liquid into a solid during the vacuum-sealing stage, and back into a liquid during the cooking stage. A perfect solution to all of life’s problems!
1. Bring the vinegar and gelatin to a boil, then refrigerate it until it is set.
2. Make a sachet with the cardamom, garlic, and lemon.
3. Add gelled vinegar, spice sachet, and artichoke hearts to a vacuum bag and seal.
4. Cook at 185 F for 40-75 minutes, until somewhat tender.
Next, prepare the blood orange.
1. Supreme the blood oranges by cutting off the peel to create a whole skinless fruit, then cutting segments of fruit out from between the layers of membrane. There are some great visual instructions on how to supreme citrus here.
2. Toss the blood orange segments with the cardamom.
Finally, construct the salad.
1. Whick together the vinaigrette, and toss with the parsley and frisee.
2. Top with blood orange segments (cold), artichokes (warm), salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste.
3. Serve immediately.