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Dry Jack, Artichoke, and Fennel Salad

Posted by Cowgirl Creamery on
Dry Jack, Artichoke, and Fennel Salad

This salad is unusual because every ingredient, including the artichoke, is raw. Whenever Peggy makes this beautiful salad, she thinks of her friend Catherine Brandel. Peggy and Catherine worked together at Chez Panisse. Catherine inspired both of us with her love of food and her approach to life. She was a noted anthropologist who was popular with her colleagues because she loved to cook for everyone at a dig. A true Renaissance woman, Catherine also illustrated science books and was an expert forager and avid gardener with an encyclopedic knowledge of ingredients.

Catherine began cooking downstairs at Chez Panisse as a fill-in, working for cooks on vacation, and then became a full-time chef in the Chez Panisse upstairs café. She and Peggy became good friends because they both had a similar style of cooking as well as the same subtle sense of humor. Together, Peggy and Catherine were awarded the Rising Chef award.

When Catherine died at the age of fifty-six, one of the things Peggy missed most about her was the hula. Catherin had spent part of her childhood in Hawaii, and danced the hula with the same precision and joy that she brought to her cooking. Even though Catherine is gone, our memories of her ending every party with a hula endure. - Sue Conley (Cowgirl Creamery Co-Founder)


Serves 6


Lemon Dressing

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 shallot, minced


1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 medium artichokes
3 large fennel bulbs, roots and feather fronds trimmed (reserve fronds for garnish)
6 celery stalks, sliced thinly on the diagonal
8 large radishes, trimmed and julienned
12 anchovy fillets

1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley (leaves only)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 oz Dry Jack cheese (or the hard cheese of your choice), for shaving



To make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Set Aside

Pour the 1/3 cup of lemon juice into a large bowl. Work with a single artichoke at a time. Start by pulling off the small lower leaves. Snap off the larges leaves by holding the bottom of the leaf in place with your thumb while snapping the top of each leaf downward, leaving a thin bottom section of the leaf still in place on the choke. Using a paring knife, slice away the tough dark green outer leaves. Trim the base of the artichoke next to the stem and peel with a vegetable peeler. Use a teaspoons to scrape the fuzzy choke away from the heart. As soon as you've scraped away the choke, place the heart in the lemon juice. As you trim each artichoke, dunk it in the lemon juice, which keeps them from oxidizing and turning brown.

Using a mandoline or a very sharp chef's knife, slice each artichoke heart crosswise into thin sections. Put in the bowl and toss with lemon juice.

Remove any tough outer stalks from the fennel. Using a sharp knife or a mandoline, halve the bulbs from top to base. Slice these crosswise as thinly as you can into half-moons. Put in the bowl, toss with lemon juice to prevent oxidation, and set aside.

Whisk the dressing a few times. In a large bowl, toss the artichoke hearts, the fennel, celery, and radishes with a few spoonfuls of the dressing.

Arrange the vegetables on six plates. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and drizzle each salad with dressing. Use a vegetable peeler to shave wide ribbons of Dry Jack over each salad before serving. 






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