When I was growing up in Italy, my mother always tried to make us eat salad and a vegetable with every meal. I love this salad because it tastes good, not just because it is good for you. Since it has just a few ingredients and simple preparation, it’s important to use the very best artichokes, Parmesan, and olive oil you can find. This is a rich salad that is a good first course or a light summer supper.
The salad is best prepared just before serving because once the artichokes are prepared and sliced, they will oxidize and discolor. (Some people use a lemon bath to prevent the discoloration, but this will change the taste of artichokes. I never use a lemon bath; instead I prepare the artichokes at the last minute. This should take 10 minutes, if you are confident with a knife.)
Prepare each artichoke by first removing the outer dark green leaves one by one until you reach the more tender yellow leaves inside. With a paring knife, trim about ¼ inch off the bottom of the stem and peel the dark green skin from the stem to reveal the tender yellow flesh. Cut off about 1 inch from the top.
If there any pointy tips on the remaining leaves, trim them with kitchen scissors. Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise; if there is a hairy inedible choke in the middle, or purple layers, remove it with a small spoon. Once the artichokes are trimmed, work quickly to cut the halves into very thin, delicate pieces.
Toss them together in a bowl with salt and extra virgin olive oil to taste. This simple salad is now ready to serve. Spoon the seasoned artichokes into a serving dish and use a
Finish with cracked pepper and a drizzle more olive oil.