Roasted Artichoke Antipasto Salad

We’re on our way out the door, heading to New York for a few days to celebrate our 40th anniversary of awesome weddedness.   But before we go, I must leave you with this amazing recipe so you will have something delicious to eat while we're gone.  And delicious this is.

As you might be able to deduce from my recipe index, we eat a lot of finger foods around here.  It’s not that we have anything against silverware, it’s just that now and then we sort of like casual, laid-back, feet-on-the-coffee table kind of meals, and an antipasto platter is like the perfect vehicle for this.  And in the summer, when turning on the stove or oven just feels wrong, throwing together a platter of meats, cheeses, breads and a bowl of roasted artichoke salad can be just so right.  And with a glass of wine or your favorite beer, I might even say it’s rather perfect.

This recipe comes to us from Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa fame.  I watched her make this while I was on the treadmill the other day (the promise of food sort of turns my treadmill into a hamster wheel), and she served it on a platter which was artfully and impeccably laid out with slices of fresh mozzarella, olives, breadsticks, sliced meats and fresh tomatoes.  It looked quite appealing to me as I finished the last ¼ mile of my run.

So this is what I put together for the two of us Saturday night (albeit not quite as impeccably as Ina’s).   And I have to say that this roasted artichoke salad was incredibly good.  While I was making it, I thought of several things I might want to add to it, but in the end, it needed nothing.  The flavors were perfectly balanced, and it made for a very tasty antipasto centerpiece.

Whether you serve this for a party of 20 people or 2 people (I would even recommend it for parties of 1), you will be well rewarded.  This stuff is addicting, so make plenty!

P.S.  Since I wrote this post, I have served this on crackers, and I wanted to let you know it was just as good as it was on crostini.  So good.

Roasted Artichoke Antipasto Salad

Click here for a printable recipe

Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
Serves 6-8

4 boxes (9 ounces each) frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted

Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
6 tablespoons capers, drained
2 roasted red peppers, sliced thin
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 pinches hot red pepper flakes, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the artichoke hearts in a bowl with 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss until the artichoke hearts are coated. Dump the artichoke hearts onto a sheet pan and spread out into 1 layer; roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Place the minced shallot, lemon juice, mustard, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process for 5 seconds. Add the basil leaves and process into a green puree. With the processor running, slowly pour 1/2 cup olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube until the ingredients are finely pureed. Set aside.

Place the roasted artichoke hearts in a bowl and toss with enough vinaigrette to moisten. Add the capers, red peppers, red onion, parsley, 1 tablespoons vinegar and red pepper flakes, if using, and toss gently. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and let stand for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature.