An artistic artichoke salad with adult tastes in mind.
Preparation Time: 50 mins
Cooking Time: 8 mins
Extra Time: 40 mins
(for pre-cooking artichokes)
ARTICHOKES AND PEPPERS: Cut cooked artichokes in half lengthwise; scoop out center petals and fuzzy centers. Remove outer leaves and reserve to garnish salad, or refrigerate to use for snacks another time. Thinly slice hearts. Cover and set aside.
Place whole bell peppers under preheated broiler; broil under high heat until charred on all sides, turning frequently with tongs. Carefully remove from oven with tongs; place in a paper bag for 15 minutes to steam skins. Carefully remove peppers from bag; remove seeds and ribs. Strip off pepper skins and slice peppers into julienne strips.
ROASTED RED PEPPER DRESSING: In blender or food processor, place 1/4 of the bell pepper strips, vinegars, garlic, basil, rosemary and sugar. Cover and process until well blended and nearly smooth.
ASSEMBLE SALADS: On 8 salad plates, arrange reserved cooked artichoke leaves or lettuce leaves. Arrange sliced artichoke hearts, remaining 3/4 of the bell pepper strips, red onion and olive slices on artichoke or lettuce leaves. Spoon dressing over salads.
If fresh basil and rosemary are unavailable, substitute 1 teaspoon crushed, dried basil; and 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary.
Chill dressing. Arrange salad, then cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours ahead. Spoon dressing over salads just before serving.