Serves 4 to 6
This is one of those salads of the moment. I love raw artichoke salad and along with the artichokes it can be made with many other different ingredients; raw mushrooms, shavings of Grana Padano and I made a beautiful salad of small artichokes, crunchy celery and some great imported mortadella. And so this salad was born. It certainly is based on tradition but with my touch. It has now become a family favorite for buffets, antipasto or just for lunch.
Fill a bowl with cold water, add the juice of 1 lemon and the squeezed out lemon halves to store the srtichokes as you work. Peel and trim the stems from the artichokes. Pull off any tough outer leaves and discard. With a paring knife, trim away any tough parts around the base of the artichoke. With a serrated knife, cut off the top third of the artichoke and discard. Halve the artichokes and slice very thin, either by hand or on a mandolin. (Note: Lidia also said the artichokes can be sliced crosswise) Put artichokes in a serving bowl and toss with the remaining lemon juice.
Add celery to bowl. On the coarse holes of a box grater, grate most of the chunk of cheese into the bowl, reserving a small piece for garnish. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with the salt. Toss well. Add the mortadella and toss gently, so as not to break the pieces. Grate remaining cheese over top and serve.