Artichokes and Asparagus with Almonds and Grapefruit Dressing

Since we can still get ruby red grapefruit then, we like to combine them all into this salad. The flavors go together perfectly. We roast the asparagus in the wood-burning oven, which runs so hot that their flesh gets little char marks and develops a nice nutty flavor. For the baby greens, any kind will do; choose according to what’s in season.

Ingredients

FOR THE ARTICHOKES:

  • 4 artichokes
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 small carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

FOR THE ALMONDS:

  • 1 cup unblanched almonds
  • 1 teaspoon rice bran oil or canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE ASPARAGUS:

  • 8 asparagus spears, ends removed
  • 1 tablespoon rice bran oil or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Serves 4

How to make Artichokes and Asparagus with Almonds and Grapefruit Dressing ?

Start with the artichokes since they will take the longest to prepare. When cleaning the artichokes your goal is to remove all the exterior leaves, leaving just the heart. To do so, use a serrated knife to cut off one third of the artichokes’ tops. Working around each artichoke in a circle, remove the rough green leaves until only soft yellow leaves remain. To clean the stem, peel it with a paring knife and trim off about 1 inch at the bottom.

Immediately put the cleaned artichokes in a large pot filled with cold water. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze its juice into the pot, and then toss in the rest of the lemon (this will prevent the artichokes from oxidizing and turning brown). Add the onions, carrots, celery, bay leaf, and salt. Put a heavy plate over the artichokes to keep them submerged as they cook. Bring the liquid to a lazy simmer and cook until you can easily insert a paring knife through the center of an artichoke, about 30 minutes. Let them cool in the pot, keeping them submerged (this helps preserve their color and flavor).

artichokes and asparagus

artichokes and asparagus

While the artichokes are cooling, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350oF. Place the almonds on a cookie sheet. Drizzle them with the oil, season with salt and pepper, and toast them until they’re golden brown throughthe center, about 12 minutes. (To check if they’re done, cut one open and inspect the color on the inside.) Let the almonds cool, and then roughly chop them.

Increase the oven heat to 450oF. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with the thyme leaves, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes, until the asparagus spears are fork-tender. Allow the asparagus to cool to room temperature.

FOR THE GRAPEFRUIT DRESSING:

  • Juice of 1 ruby red grapefruit
  • 1 tablespoon golden (or white) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 teaspoon kosher salt, or more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more if needed
  • 6 tablespoons rice bran oil or canola oil

TO FINISH:

  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 handfuls baby greens

To make the dressing, put the grapefruit juice in a small saucepan. Reduce the juice over high heat until syrupy, 5 to 7 minutes—you should be left with about 1 tablespoon. Whisk together the reduced grapefruit juice, vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl until combined. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until the dressing is thick and emulsified—it should cometogether pretty quickly. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Once they’ve cooled completely, cut the artichokes in half through the stem. Take each half and remove its fibrous center with a spoon, making sure to leave the heart intact. Gently toss the artichoke hearts and the asparagus with about 1 cup of the dressing, and season them with salt and pepper. Right before serving, dress the baby greens lightly with a couple of teaspoons of the dressing, and combine with the vegetables. Arrange on a platter and sprinkle with the toasted almonds.