Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Artichoke, Romaine and Cherry Tomato Salad with Balsamic Dijion Vinaigrette

I made this salad with some of the last tomatoes from my CSA.  Too often when I make a salad at home, I throw in everything but the kitchen sink, and top it with whatever bottled dressing I have on hand.  And while it always tastes good, I began to crave a more focused salad, where the ingredients and dressings pair together to balance and compliment.  Luckily, this salad did just that.

It’s not very often I go to the trouble of making a homemade dressing, but in this case I sure am glad I did.  The flavors combined in this dressing were really unique.  I usually avoid any type of creamy dressing, preferring a more traditional vinaigrette.  But the creaminess from the mayonnaise wasn’t overpowering, and the balsamic vinegar & dijion mustard provided plenty of tang & bite.  I just love balsamic vinegar, so I really loved that the flavor stood out, but it also didn’t over power the dijion flavor.  Plus, using half of the artichokes pureed in the dressing really helps thicken it up as well!  Genius!

No matter the season, this can be a quick and delicious salad.  You can prepare the dressing a couple days in advance, and serve it up to company.  The colors of this salad are beautiful!


Artichoke, Romaine and Cherry Tomato Salad with Balsamic Dijion Vinaigrette

from Bon Appétit via Epicurious


2 6-ounce jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or green onion tops
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon coarse-grained Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
5 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

12 cups torn romaine lettuce
1 small red onion, thinly sliced (I omitted)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


Mince 1 jar artichoke hearts in processor. Mix in next 5 ingredients. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Add mayonnaise; whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in oil. Cover; chill dressing for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover; keep chilled.)

Combine lettuce, onion and tomatoes in bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Divide salad among plates. Top with remaining artichokes and Parmesan.

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