During the month of August I really don’t feel much like cooking and salads reign supreme. Here’s one which doesn’t rely on the availability of fresh artichokes which I adore. Instead I use frozen ones from Picard which I always have in the freezer. In addition this salad will sit quite happily in the fridge for a couple of days getting better and better, if it lasts that long!
1.Preheat oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan/gas mark 4 (350ºF/320ºF fan) and line an oven tray with greaseproof (parchment) paper.
2. Place the artichoke hearts in a bowl with 60ml (1/4) cup olive oil, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and toss until the artichoke hearts are coated. Place the artichoke hearts onto the baking tray (sheet pan) in a single layer and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Place the minced shallot, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, 1 tbsp vinegar, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or blender. Process for 5 seconds. Then add basil leaves and process into a green puree before adding further 120 ml (1/2 cup) olive oil into the bowl until the ingredients are finely pureed. Set aside.
3. Place the roasted artichoke hearts in a bowl and toss with enough vinaigrette to moisten. Add the capers, red peppers, red onion, parsley, 4 tbsp vinegar and red pepper flakes (if using), and toss gently. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and let the salad stand for at least 30 minutes for the flavours to blend.
4. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!.