Raw Artichoke Salad with Flakes of Parmesan

This post is also available in: Italiano

In the 70s, the San Lorenzo market in Florence was a real triumph of colors and scents. In the spring, it was characterized in a blaze of strawberries, beans pods, and violet and spiny artichokes. At that time I was a college student and lived not far from the San Lorenzo market with a friend. It seemed like the ideal place to do your shopping at a good price early in the morning before school.

I was fascinated by how fast the vendors served in the goods, as well as the heterogeneity of buyers. At that time of day it was always filled with people from the buildings of the old town seeking fresh products and penniless students and artists who took inspiration for their art from the vital, colorful, and fragrant products. Today the market is different, but when I find myself in Florence I always end up going back, my feet are in fact carried out by nostalgia. During the period of artichokes or strawberries those shopping days at dawn that I recall.

The dish that I propose is a fast and healthy way to prepare artichokes. If you can buy the purple spiny type of artichokes typical of the market of San Lorenzo they are very tender and suitable for this raw preparation. It’s a great appetizer and can also be the main dish for a light dinner, in this case double the doses.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves 4

4 purple artichokes
5 oz Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon
salt and pepper

  1. Clean the artichokes as described in the recipe “Artichokes“.
  2. Fill a bowl with cold water, squeeze half a lemon and leave it in the water. Cut the artichokes into thin slices and soak them in the water.
  3. Shave off some flakes of Parmesan with a knife or other tool.
  4. A few minutes before serving, remove the artichokes from the water, pat them dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper, olive oil, and the juice of the remaining half of the lemon.
  5. Place on individual plates adding the parmesan flakes over the salad to finish.

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