La Finocchiata

A lovely light vegetarian entree which makes use of freh fennel and artichokes.

Serves 4

4 baby fennel, about 110g each

2 medium small fresh artichokes

Juice and zest of one lemon

Extra virgin olive oil

Parmesan shavings

Freshly cracked pepper

Trim tops and ends then slice the fennel finely. As you slice each bulb, place the slices on four individual serving plates.

Remove all the leaves from the artichokes. Pull out the hairy choke, leaving just the heart – this is the part you will slice. Put the lemon juice into a bowl and using a very sharp knife (or a mandolin), slice the heart finely, placing the slices immediately into the lemon juice (otherwise they will discolour).

Distribute the artichoke slices evenly over the fennel slices. Drizzle olive oil over each plate, garnish with lemon zest, parmesan shavings and freshly cracked pepper. Some of the tops of the fennel are a colourful addition.

Tip: also good with stoned small black olives (Ligurian or Nicoise).  Artichokes are a spring vegetable and you can omit them if they are not in season.

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