September 23, 2009
Some dishes are (almost) too pretty to eat. Which is the feeling I had when this gorgeous Baby Artichoke Salad with Vine-Ripened Tomatoes, Pine Nuts, and Parmesan was laid before me at Barolo Ristorante in downtown Seattle.
Properly called Carciofi alla Romana in Italian, I was immediately taken by the visual image of baby artichokes made to look like flowers–the artichoke heart’s leaves serving as the flower’s “petals” and sprigs of fresh basil as its “leaves.”
Once I broke down and tasted the dish, I was smitten with the tender flesh of the slow-roasted artichokes, the meltingly gentle tomato sauce, the punch from the basil pesto, and the crunch of the toasted pine nuts.
Willis Hall 2007 Roussanne, produced under the loving hand of winemaker and friend John Bell, formed a clean, crisp foil to the strong flavors of this dish.
All of which more than qualifies Barolo’s Carciofi alla Romana as today’s Dish of the Day.