Hearts of Romaine with Marinated Artichokes
24 fresh baby artichokes (about 1 to 1-1/2 ounces each), or 2 (9 ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts
2 lemons, halved
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup bottled nonfat Italian salad dressing
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 heads romaine lettuce
1 roasted red bell pepper, peeled and sliced in thin strips
Make marinated artichoke hearts, If using fresh artichokes:
- ill a medium bowl with cold water and add the juice of 1/2 lemon.
- Peel back the outer leaves on each artichoke until they break off at the base.
- Keep removing leaves until you reach the pale green "heart."
- Cut about 1/3 inch off the top of the heart to remove the pointed tips.
- Cut away any stem.
- Trim the base to remove any dark green parts immediately rub each heart all over with lemon to prevent browning, using two of the remaining lemon halves.
- Drop the hearts into the bowl of water.
- In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil over high heat.
- Add salt and the juice of the remaining lemon half.
- Drain artichokes and add to boiling water.
- Cook until tender when pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes.
- Drain and pat dry.
- When cool enough to handle, cut each artichoke in half lengthwise.
- Let fresh artichokes cool.
Make marinated artichoke hearts, If using frozen artichokes:
- Thaw them and pat them dry.
- Cut in half if whole.
- In a small bowl, combine artichoke halves, dressing, and parsley.
- Toss gently.
- Pull off all the dark green outer leaves of the lettuce, reserving for another use.
- Use only the pale green inner leaves (the “hearts”).
- Each heart should weigh 6 to 8 ounces.
- Cut off the core, leaving the leaves whole.
- Rinse well with cold water and pat thoroughly dry.
- Arrange romaine hearts on a large serving platter in a sunburst pattern.
- Using a slotted spoon to lift them out of the marinade, arrange artichokes at the base of the hearts.
- Crisscross strips of red pepper over the romaine leaves, then drizzle the leaves with the remaining artichoke marinade.