- SERVINGS: 4
For this refreshing starter, the nearly transparent slices of vegetables are enhanced with a lightly tangy, caper-dotted dressing. As with all simple vegetable dishes, the success of this salad depends entirely upon the quality of the ingredients you start with.
"Why go to all the bother of slicing the vegetables so thin?" you might ask. Slicing them paper-thin serves several functions: it allows the juices locked in the fibers to come to the surface of each slice, encourages greater absorption of the dressing and tenderizes dense vegetables such as artichokes and carrots. Using a mandoline-type slicer ensures neat, thin shavings.
- A small handful of large, firm radishes
- 1 large carrot
- 1 celery rib from the heart
- 1 firm leek, white and tender green only
- 1 small fennel bulb, halved and cored
- Half a lemon plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 heaping tablespoon drained small capers
- Fine sea salt
- 1 firm medium artichoke
- A small chunk of Parmesan cheese, for shaving
- Freshly ground pepper
- Trim and very thinly slice the radishes, carrot, celery, leek and fennel bulb using a manual mandoline-type slicer.
- In a large bowl, combine the 3 tablespoons lemon juice with the mustard and beat lightly with a fork; beat in the 3 tablespoons olive oil. Stir in the drained capers and season with sea salt.
- Trim the artichoke, rubbing the cut portions with the lemon half as you go to prevent discoloration. Cut off the stem and pull off all the dark outer leaves around the base. Cut the artichoke crosswise about 1 1/2 inches from the base to remove the remaining leaves. Scoop out the hairy choke and trim around the top and bottom of the heart.
- Slice the artichoke heart very thin and toss with the dressing. Add the sliced vegetables and toss gently.
- Arrange the carpaccio on plates or on a platter. Using a vegetable peeler, shave Parmesan on top. Season with pepper, drizzle with olive oil if desired and serve.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.