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Salad of Butter Lettuce & Endive with "2 Hour" Tomatoes

Yield: 4 servings

¼ log goat cheese
2 oz. sherry vinegar
4 oz. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsps. brown sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Cara Cara (or other brightly colored, tart oranges)
14 grape tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
3 Globe artichokes
1 lemon
1 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 heads Bibb lettuce
1 head Belgian Endive
¼ (4 bias slices) French baguette
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp. flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped

1. The day before: Place wrapped goat cheese in freezer. Make the vinaigrette: in a medium sized stainless steel bowl, add the vinegar and brown sugar. Whisk and let sit until sugar is dissolved. Once dissolved, in a steady stream, whisk in the olive oil. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Place in container, wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. For the orange supremes: Using a paring knife, cut the top and bottom off of the oranges.  Stand the orange on one of the cut ends and peel orange with a paring knife removing all the skin and pith. Over a small container that you will use to store the segments, remove the segments form the membrane.  Wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
3. For the day of service: For the “2 Hour Tomatoes” Preheat the convection oven at 185° F.  Cut all tomatoes in half lengthwise.  Place with in a small stainless steel bowl, add the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss gently.  Lay the tomatoes on a wire rack with the cut side up.  Place the rack on a sheet pan.  Place the tomatoes in the oven for 2 hours.  Remove and hold at room temperature. Keep the bowl with the oil and seasoning for later use of the artichokes.
4. For the artichokes: In a 1 quart sauce pot, add 2 cups of water.  Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the water, then add both lemon halves.  Clean the artichoke, keeping the bottom and the stem.  Clean one artichoke at a time and place the bottom and stem in the lemon water immediately to prevent oxidation.  When artichokes are clean, place the pot over medium high heat, bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a slow simmer.  Cook the artichokes until they are tender, checking where the stem meets the bottom with a paring knife.  Once done, remove from the water and place under refrigeration.  
5. For the lettuce: Separate the bibb lettuce leaves, discarding the outer dark green leaves.  Rinse in ice water and place in pan allowing the leaves to dry; place in refrigeration.  Cut off the stem end of the endive.  Separate with spears and wipe clean with a damp cloth.  Cut each spear lengthwise, place in container, wrap and place in refrigeration.  
6. For the bread: Cut the bread on a long bias about ½ thick.  Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil, season with salt, pepper and chopped parsley.  Hold at room temperature until ready to serve.
7. To serve: Preheat the grill, wipe clean with an oiled cloth. Whisk the vinaigrette and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if needed. In a large bowl, add the bibb lettuce and endive spears.  Add some of the vinaigrette and gently toss.  The dressing should coat all leaves, but not be excessive. Place the artichokes and bread on the grill.  Grill to get nice marks and that grill flavor. While the artichokes and bread are on the grill, plate the salads. In the center of the plate, stack bibb leaves and endive. Randomly place 7 halved tomatoes and 5 orange supremes on each salad. Remove the goat cheese from the freezer and grate over the salad using a microplane. Wipe the rim clean of any cheese or dressing.
8. When done, remove the artichokes and bread from the grill. Place 3 artichokes per plate, one at “12:00”, 1 at “9:00” and 1 at “6:00”. Place the bread on the right side of the salad, tucking it under the green just a bit.
9. Drizzle the artichokes and bread with the dressing and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of David Schneider, CEC, executive chef, Sodexo, University of Mary Washington

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