YIELD: 4 SERVINGS
4 pancetta slices
1 lb. baby artichokes, outside dark-green leaves trimmed, quartered (halved if tiny)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ cup vegetable broth
⅛ tsp. salt (or as needed)
Pinch black pepper (or as needed)
½ cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsps. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
2 anchovy fillets, patted dry
2 tsps. brined capers, drained
⅛ tsp. black pepper (or as needed)
3 Tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced ½" thick, slices halved
4 fresh mozzarella ovolini, 4 oz. each, drained and quartered
1. For the pancetta chips: Arrange pancetta slices on a wire rack set over a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 250°F until crisp, about 1 hour. Drain on paper towels and reserve for plating. (Do not refrigerate.)
2. For the artichokes: Place artichoke quarters in a saucepan with crushed garlic. Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to bare simmer; cover pan. Cook artichokes until tender, about 15 minutes. (Add more broth to the pan if necessary, but liquid should nearly evaporate by the time the artichokes are tender.) Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
3. For the sauce: Combine fresh herbs with anchovy fillets, capers and black pepper in a food processor. Pulse until evenly chopped. Add oil; process until finely minced. Reserve.
4. Per order: Arrange 4 tomato half-slices on a plate, sliced end inward. Lay 1 ovolini quarter atop each tomato half slice, gravitating toward center. Drizzle mozzarella with 1 Tbsp. herb sauce. Rim cheese and tomato with 4 braised-artichoke quarters. Garnish plate with 1 pancetta chip.
Recipe and photo: BelGioioso Cheese, Inc.