Roasting tomatoes brings out their rich and sweet flavor, and in this salad, roasted cherry tomatoes are combined with artichokes, the tasty ones, the ones found at your favorite delicatessen or gourmet food store — yes, raise your hand if you love artichokes! All this together with fresh, delicate buffalo mozzarella (bocconcini), tossed in lemon caper dressing and served over peppery arugula leaves. Splendid — I love this salad!
Artichokes are so much more than those canned versions we all know. Okay, I have also used those a ton in the past, but then I discovered a wonderful little shop down the road from me that sells them fresh, marinated in herbs and pink peppercorns. I never looked back. Since then I have NEVER bought from a can again. Okay, they are a little more pricey, but isn’t it worth it? For such a salad, we’ve earned it.
Roasted Cherry Tomato, Artichoke and Bocconcini in a Lemon Caper Dressing
Serves 4 as a starter
For the salad:
350 g cherry tomatoes on the vine, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
4 to 6 antipasti artichokes hearts with stems (preferably fresh from a delicatessen, roasted or marinated in herbs — alternatively, marinaded from a glass) cut into quarters (about 150-200 g)
1 ball buffalo mozzarella (bocconcini), drained and sliced into bite sized pieces (250 g)
3 handfuls arugula, chopped
For the dressing:
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained
juice of 1 organic lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C.
2. In a bowl, mix tomatoes with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
3. Place the tomatoes in a roasting pan in a single layer with the cut side up and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Roast for 20-25 minutes until soft and juicy. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
4. In a small bowl, combine the dressing the lemon juice, zest, mustard and capers. Season with salt and pepper and gradually whisk in the olive oil.
5. On four serving plates, arrange the tomato, artichoke hearts and bocconcini over a bed of arugula. Drizzle the caper dressing over the salad and serve.