The creation of Chef Johannes Moewe of the Locanda Ticinese in Zurich, this sprightly salad is a perfect spring and early summer appetizer or even a main course of a light meal.

4 Servings

24 baby artichokes, trimmed and halved, or 1 package frozen artichoke hearts

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, mashed and peeled

1 cup tomato puree

1 large sprig basil

10-ounce log of mild goat cheese, such as Montrachet

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs

Pare the artichokes and set aside in a bowl of cold water that has a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar added to it.

Combined the oil and garlic in an enameled iron Dutch oven and place on low heat until the garlic is light golden.  Drain and add the artichokes; cover the pan and let them steam for 10 minutes.

Uncover the pan and let the moisture evaporate until the artichokes start to sizzle.  Stir in the tomato puree, some salt, and the basil.  Bring to a simmer, decrease heat, cover, and cook until the artichokes are tender and the sauce reduced so that it just coats the artichokes, about 20 minutes.  Check to make sure that the sauce isn’t becoming too dry and add a little water if it is.

When you’re ready to serve the artichokes, remove the basil and reheat if necessary.  Preheat the broiler and arrange slices of the cheese on an oiled pan.  Sprinkle the cheese with the crumbs and quickly run under the broiler about 5 inches away from the element. 

Arrange the artichokes and cheese on large plates and serve immediately.