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Artichoke Salad with Pecorino

Chef Laurent Gras Recipes

Artichoke Salad with Pecorino

Alta Editions

The nutty, grassy flavor of raw artichoke balances with the sharp taste of sheep’s milk cheese, the sweetness of olive oil, and the acidity of lemon juice.
— Laurent Gras
This Provence-inspired Artichoke Salad with Pecorino recipe is a preview from chef Laurent Gras's multiple IACP award-winning cookbook, My Provence.

4 servings   |   Prep Time: 1 hour   |   Cooking Time: None



For the Artichokes

  • 2 lemons
  • 1 quart (1 l) water
  • Sea salt
  • 8 small purple artichokes or 4 large green (globe) artichokes
  • ¼ cup (40 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

For the Salad

  • ¼ pound (120 g) hard sheep’s milk cheese, with a sharp taste and a few months of aging, such as French Tomme de Brebis or Tuscan Pecorino
  • 2 small bunches of arugula
  • 4 teaspoons (20 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Sea salt

For the Artichoke Chips

  • 1 quart (1 l) canola oil, for frying
  • 8 small purple artichokes or 4 large green (globe) artichokes
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 quart (1 l) water
  • Sea salt


For the Artichokes

  1. Split both lemons. Squeeze the juice and strain with a sieve. Divide the juice evenly into two separate mixing bowls. To the first bowl add a quart of water and the squeezed lemons; this acidulated water will be used during the artichoke peeling process to prohibit oxidation. To the second bowl of lemon juice add a generous pinch of sea salt; this will be used to season the artichokes after slicing.
  2. To prepare the artichokes, with your hands, remove the leaves around the stem until you reach the tender, yellow leaves on the inside. Using a paring knife, cut the stem and peel the heart: hold the artichoke in one of your hands and pare it, rotating the artichoke with the other hand so that it turns against the blade of the knife. Cut the top part of the leaves off, about an inch or so from the tip, to remove any tough portion of the leaves and to reveal the hairy choke. Place the trimmed artichoke in the lemon water. When all the artichokes are peeled and trimmed, remove the hairy choke in the center of each heart. The easiest way to do this is to use a teaspoon and pull out the hair, grasping it between the spoon and your thumb. Alternately, you can halve or quarter the artichokes and cut the hair out with the paring knife. Keep all the pieces of artichoke in the lemon water to avoid browning. Discard the choke.
  3. When all of the artichoke hearts are ready, thinly slice them using a chef knife, or, if they are very small, cut them into quarters. Place the cut artichokes into the second mixing bowl with the lemon juice and salt, and toss to marinate them and prevent oxidation. When all of the artichokes are sliced and in the lemon juice, add the olive oil, toss, and cover with a plastic wrap (pressed down in the bowl on top of the artichokes). Let sit for about 30 minutes so the marinade will wilt the artichoke and the flavor will penetrate.

For the Salad

  1. Remove any rind from the block of cheese. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, shave the sheep’s milk cheese into very thin slices. Set aside.
  2. Pick off the top part of the arugula leaves from the stems. Wash and drain the leaves in a sieve or strainer. Let dry over a towel and place in a mixing bowl. Season at the very last moment, with olive oil, white pepper, and salt, and toss lightly.
  3. For the Artichoke Chips (optional)
  4. Place the oil in a deep 2-quart (2 1) pot and bring to 300ºF (150°C).
  5. Prepare a rack with paper towel to drain the artichokes once they are fried.
  6. Turn the artichokes as explained above. When all of the artichoke hearts are ready, thinly slice them using a mandolin or a very sharp knife. Deep-fry the artichoke slices immediately in small batches, a handful at a time. Move them around in the oil using a skimmer to prevent clumping and so they fry evenly. When the slices stop bubbling and start to take on a light brown color, remove them from the fryer with a spider or slotted spoon. Place them on paper towel to drain and season with sea salt while still hot.

To Assemble the Dish

Layer the artichokes on the serving plates, overlapping the arugula and cheese to create some volume. Scatter the fried artichokes on top, if using.

Get this recipe and over 40 other delicious Provence-inspired dishes in Laurent Gras: My Provence, the award-winning online cookbook from renowned chef Laurent Gras, for $9.99.
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