Artichoke Salad with Romesco
- 6 stalks celery stalks cut diagonally into 2½" pieces
- salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons sweet pimenton (not smoked) 
- water as needed
- 2 dozen almonds blanched, skinned
- ¼ cup olive oil divided
- ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 cans artichoke hearts - (13¾ oz ea) drained, quartered
- 3 cup chopped lettuce or escarole
- 1 hard-boiled egg sliced
- 1 tsp chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 tbsp chopped green onion
- Blanch the celery in boiling salted water 6 minutes.
- Drain and refresh it under cold water.
- Set it aside.
- Combine the sweet and hot pimenton in a small bowl and mix it with ¼ cup water until it is smooth.
- Toast the almonds in 2 teaspoons of the oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat until they are golden, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove from the heat.
- Chop the parsley in a food processor, then add the garlic and process until it is finely chopped.
- Add the toasted almonds and process until they are finely ground.
- Add ½ teaspoon of salt, the vinegar and ½ cup of water and continue to process until the mixture is quite smooth.
- Add the pimenton paste and the remaining oil.
- This makes 1 cup of dressing (the dressing can be served with other vegetables and salads)
- Place the artichoke hearts and celery in a bowl and top with the dressing.
- Marinate 1 hour at room temperature.
- Prepare a bed of lettuce or escarole on a large platter.
- Arrange the artichokes and celery on top.
- Garnish with the egg, mint and onion.
- Spanish pimenton comes in three flavors-dulce (sweet), agridulce (bittersweet) and picante (spicy hot). Each is made from a different subspecies of pepper. Sweet pimenton, smoked or unsmoked, is the most versatile, while the bittersweet adds an interesting complexity to a dish. The spicy-hot is packed with flavor and really not at all fiery to most palates. Substitute Spanish pimenton in any recipe calling for paprika.