You know the saying, “I never forget a good meal?” I don’t know how literally most people take this, and I don’t want to embarrass myself, but I’m going to confess… I have never, from the time I was small, I mean ever…forgotten a good meal. Years ago I turned on the television and caught the very tail-end of a chef preparing this appetizer. I listened intently as I loved all the food components he was using and knew it looked unique and quite special. I had to try it as soon as possible, which I did. I got all the ingredients and went about making this as best I could remember his direction. When I sat down with knife and fork and finally dug in, I was absolutely blown away. The combination of flavors topped off with a good balsamic vinegar was not only special, it was magnificent. I don’t remember who the chef was or where he was from. I also apologize that my lack of artistry doesn’t match the exceptional taste, but I’m posting this because it’s memorable and a delicacy that once you taste it, you as well… will most certainly never forget.
Artichoke with Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese
4 large artichokes, trimmed
8 ounces herbed or plain goat cheese (chevre)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Thinly sliced smoked salmon
Chopped scallions or chives
Steam the artichokes or cook in boiling salted water until tender, about 40 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Discard tough outer leaves, reserve softer inner leaves and top “cap” of artichoke. Discard the fuzzy choke from the artichoke heart. Slice each heart horizontally into thirds.
Combine goat cheese with salt and pepper to taste. For each serving, arrange one slice artichoke on a work surface. Spread a layer of goat cheese over artichoke; top with a slice of salmon to fit. Repeat layering with remaining 2 slices artichoke heart, goat cheese and salmon. Spread a layer of goat cheese around edges. Arrange reserved artichoke “cap” over layered mixture attractively. Place a ring mold around each artichoke terrine to hold it in place as it chills. Chill in fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
To serve: Unmold artichoke terrines onto four serving plates. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over and around terrine and sprinkle with chopped scallions or chives.