- 4 artichokes, cleaned and prepared (see Cook’s tips)
- 4 ripe pears, rinsed
- 1 x 260 g pack baby leaf Italian salad, rinsed
- 100 g wild rocket, rinsed
- 1 x 200 g pack asparagus spears, rinsed and blanched
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- Smoked white balsamic vinegar reduction, for drizzling
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cook the artichokes in salted boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and refresh in cold water. Halve lengthways and return to the cold water, along with 3 of the lemon halves (to maintain the vegetable’s colour).
Using a sharp mandolin or knife, carefully slice thin slivers of pear (trying to retain the fruit’s original shape). Place in another bowl of water, along with the remaining lemon halves.
Divide the assorted leaves and artichoke halves among four dishes. Slice the blanched asparagus spears in half lengthways and arrange on each dish.
Stack the layers of each pear and press together to drain excess water. Place the pear on top of the asparagus and drizzle liberally with olive oil and the smoked balsamic reduction. Season.
Cook’s tips: Find smoked white balsamic vinegar at most speciality food stores or delis. Or substitute it with smoked honey: spread the honey in a baking dish and place in the smoker for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. To prepare the artichokes, cut 2 cm off the tip of each stem and top of the vegetable, remove the outer leaves and peel the stem using a vegetable peeler. Remove the choke (the hair-like structure in the middle of the base).
Per serving: 1013.9 kJ, 10.3 g protein, 8.1 g fat, 31.3 g carbs
This recipe is also wonderful with smoked pears. To smoke the fruit, poach it in sugar-and-ginger syrup. Drain the excess syrup then cover and place in a smoker for 10 minutes.