Thursday, January 5, 2012

Inspired salad, winter edition

Dishes from the Purple Pig, it seems, have a way of staying with me. Most recently, it’s their “Braised Baby Artichokes, Fingerling Potatoes, Asiago & Salami Toscana” that’s stuck in my brain.  I think it’s the clean flavors and use of fresh ingredients that give me the confidence to try my hand at replicating these restaurant tastes at home. Though, certainly my recreation is on a simpler level: I didn’t braise anything... My artichokes came from a jar.
One of no doubt many variations in my version of this salad is the obvious use of cheddar instead of asiago. Our team is super into Prairie Breeze, a cheese from Iowa’s Milton Creamery that is incredibly rounded with buttery, grassy, sweet, mild, and tangy flavors. We’re into it like we’re into our new knobs. I’m not sure that transition was entirely smooth, but go with it.
I think a few more tries are necessary—and I mean both as in “try it again” in the test kitchen, and also that I’d like to conduct some “try it again” field research.
This, my first try, was studded with salty, briny bites and made a perfect, easy, weeknight dinner when paired with a runny fried egg. Really what isn’t a perfect dinner when paired with a runny, fried egg? Please don’t interrupt me when I’m asking rhetorical questions.

First attempt at artichoke potato salad inspired by the Purple Pig 

2 ounces salami in one thick slice
2 ounces sharp cheese
1 pound fingerling potatoes
1 14-ounce jar quartered artichoke hearts
1 small red onion
¼ white vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil

Wash potatoes and cover with cold water in a small saucepan. Add salt and bring water to a boil. Boil until fork tender (about 30 minutes). Meanwhile, slice onion into rainbows and soak in brine made from vinegar, salt, and sugar. Let sit. Drain artichokes of their liquid. Crumble cheese into small pieces. Finely dice the salami.

Remove potatoes from water and cut into bite-sized pieces. Toss with artichokes, cheese, salami, onions (incorporating a tablespoon or two of the onion brining liquid), a glug of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Add some chopped fresh parsley if you have it! Serves one double-hungry hippo, twice. 


  1. Love the knobs. Am willing to be a guinea pig on your next field experiment.

  2. This looks fantastic! The kitchen addition is looking fit, too.