Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Artichoke and Roasted Red Pepper Salad with Roasted Pepper Dressing

Ingredients:

- Salad:
8 medium artichokes, prepared and cooked as directed for whole artichokes
4 red bell peppers
- lettuce leaves
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
- Roasted Pepper Dressing:
1 roasted bell pepper, reserved from salad preparation
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup white wine or cider vinegar
2 cloves, garlic minced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp crushed dried basil
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp crushed dried rosemary
1 tsp sugar

Instructions:
Halve artichokes lengthwise; scoop out center petals and fuzzy centers. Remove outer leaves and reserve to garnish salad, or to use for snacks another time. Trim out hearts and slice thinly. Cover and set aside. Place whole bell peppers under preheated broiler; broil under high heat until charred on all sides, turning frequently with tongs. Remove from oven; place in a paper bag for 15 minutes to steam skins. Trim off stems of peppers; remove seeds and ribs. Strip off skins; slice peppers into julienne strips. Reserve one-fourth of the bell pepper strips to prepare dressing. To assemble salads, arrange leaves on 8 salad plates. Arrange sliced artichoke hearts, remaining bell pepper strips, red onion, and olive slices on lettuce. Garnish with a couple or cooked artichoke leaves, if desired. For dressing, in blender or food processor container place reserved bell pepper strips, vinegars, garlic, basil, rosemary, and sugar. Cover and process until well blended and nearly smooth. Spoon dressing over salads. Serving suggestion: Prepare arranged salads up to 4 hours ahead; chill dressing and spoon over salads just before serving.

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