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Skate Heirloom Tomato Salad

Chef/Proprietor Matt Carter, Zinc Bistro, Scottsdale, AZ

Yield: 4-6 servings

4 4-6 oz. skate wings
2-3 artichokes
1 cup exta virgin olive oil (1/4 cup for chokes, 1/4 cup for frying, 1/2 cup for dressing)
2-3 lemons
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 sachet, thyme, fresh bay leaf, peppercorn
1/2 cup white wine
2-3 cups picked purslane (or substitute mache)
2-4 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes
1 carrot, peeled, shaved, blanched
1 stalk of celery, peeled, shaved, blanched, reserve the leaves
2 shallots, peeled, shaved, blanched
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. toasted black mustard seed
1 Tbsp. thyme leaves
2-4 Tbsp. clarified butter

For the Artichokes: Fill a large pot of water with 1-2 gallons of cold water and place in chopped carrot, 1/4 cup olive oil,celery and onion, sachet, and white wine. With small paring knife peel, including stem, each artichoke and rub with lemon before placing into pot. Cover artichokes with a paper hat and bring to a boil. Once they come to a boil, pull off the heat. Steep at room temperature for 25-35 minutes; refrigerate.

After cooling, reserve artichoke liquid, and remove spiny heart from chokes. In a small pot reduce artichoke cuisson to 1/2 cup. Place artichoke reduction into a blender with Dijon mustard; emulsify with 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, finish with mustard seed, thyme leaves and salt and pepper.

Cut the cooled artichokes in half lengthwise; shave lengthwise on a Japanese mandolin. Fry these in 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil until golden brown, not crispy. Leave them moist in the middle. Finish with sea salt and dry on towels.

For the skate: Portion skate into 11/2 to 2 oz. fingers. Saute the skate fingers in clarified butter until evenly browned. Cook all the way through without drying out.

For the salad: Slice the tomatoes in half and then into thin half moons. Toss the purslane, tomatoes, and shaved vegetables with the vinaigrette. Alternately stack the tomato salad, fried artichokes and skate in the middle of the plate.

Garnish with leftover dressing around the rim of the plate and thyme leaves.