In the northeast, locally grown artichokes are hard to find, so when you can get them, why not go a different route than cooking them to near mush and drenching them in butter? Buy baby artichokes and make like you’re in Italy, where the youngest, freshest specimens are often eaten raw. In this recipe, adapted from Foraged Flavor (Clarkson Potter; $25), a cookbook collaboration between Daniel’s forager, Tama Matsuoka Wong, and its chef de cuisine, Eddy Leroux, the thistles’ crispness matches the purslane. Add manouri cheese, black olives, and cayenne pepper for salt and spice, and you’ll have a terrifically simple, lightly acidic salad.
Foraged Flavor's Purslane, Artichoke, Manouri Cheese, and Black-Olive Salad
8 to 10 baby artichokes
6 ounces tender purslane tips and small leaves
1/4 cup pitted, brined black olives, drained
5 ounces manouri or feta cheese, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 to 2 tsp. cayenne pepper, to taste
In a medium bowl of water, squeeze the juice from one of the lemons. Prepare the artichokes one by one: (1) Discard the darker-green outer leaves; leave the inner yellow leaves that are slightly moist and tender. (2) Holding the artichoke stem side up, peel the outer layer from the stem with a paring knife. Cut off the bottom inch of the stem, and then cut off the tops of the leaves to remove any slightly greener parts and the pointy tips. Transfer to the lemon water while preparing the remaining artichokes. (3) Thinly slice the artichokes lengthwise, remove the chokes, if necessary, and toss into a large bowl. Add the purslane, olives, cheese, and olive oil. Squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon into the bowl, and season with cayenne.
This story appeared in the August 20, 2012 issue of New York Magazine.