Summer artichokes recipes: Artichoke Pizza, Chopped Salad

June 13, 2013

David Blonsky, chef at Chicago's DineAmic Restaurant Group in Chicago, and Siena Tavern Restaurant shows us how to incorporate artichokes into some delicious and creative recipes.


When cleaning fresh artichokes, always store them in cold water with lemon juice. This will keep the artichokes from oxidizing and turning brown.

Artichoke Pizza
Yield: 6 (12-14 inch) pizza

1 each Pizza dough recipe (SEE BELOW)
1 each Pizza sauce recipe
2 each Grilled or cooked Artichoke hearts, rough chopped
2 cup Sicilian black olives, rinsed and rough chopped
1 pound Fresh mozzarella, rough chopped
20 slices Prosciutto de Parma, thinly sliced
1/2 pound Baby arugula

1. Heat Oven or grill to 500 degrees with a pizza stone inside.
2. Take 1 dough ball at a time and place in a small bowl filled with flour. Coat both sides and then slowly work the pizza dough until it is round and reaches approximately 12-14 inches in diameter.
3. Ladle about 2-3 ounces of pizza sauce on to the pizza and swirl around, using the back of the ladle, until the sauce covers most of the pizza, leaving a 1 inch space from the edge of the pizza dough. Add some chopped artichokes and olives, scattering over the pizza, then top with some mozzarella (a little goes a long way) and then place on to the pizza stone. Cook until pizza is crispy and golden brown. Remove pizza and layer some prosciutto slices over the pizza, then slice.
4. Top with some baby arugula and serve.

Pizza Dough
Yield: 6 (10 ounce) pizza dough balls

4 3/4 pound flour
7 gram Fresh yeast
4 ounce Kosher salt
9 1/2 cup Water

1. Combine yeast and water in a stand mixing bowl and work with your hands until yeast has dissolved.
2. Add flour into large mixing bowls and aerate with your hands to incorporate air into the flour, about 20 times.
3. Sprinkle flour and salt over the water making sure not to flatten out the mixture. Leave 2 cups of flour behind in case you need to add more. Mix on speed 1 for about 2 minutes until the dough comes together. If dough seems loose add more flour until it comes off the side of the mixing bowl wall.
4. Turn up to speed 2 for 1 minute, then speed 3 for 4 minutes.
5. Cover with plastic for 10 minutes in mixer bowl.
6. Mix dough on speed 1 for 5-10 seconds just until it pulls off the wall, then remove and place on table top covered with plastic for 45 minutes.
7. Fold dough over three times and cover again for 10 minutes.
8. Portion dough into 10 ounce portions and roll into a smooth ball and place on a baking pan, covered with a damp kitchen towel for 3 hours before making pizzas.

Chopped Salad
Yield: 4 Entrée Salads

4 ounce Herb mustard recipe (SEE BELOW)
1 head Iceberg lettuce, chopped
2 each Radicchio, cored and chopped
1 can Canned cannellini beans, rinsed
1/2 pint Grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 each Red onion, diced
1 can Grilled or cooked Artichoke hearts, rough chopped
1/4 pound Green beans, cleaned and cooked
1 can Pepperoncini peppers, sliced and seeded
TT Kosher salt and cracked black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl and mix well, lightly seasoning with salt and pepper. Taste for proper amount of dressing and seasoning, you may have to adjust for your taste.

Herb Mustard Vinaigrette

1/2 cup Wholegrain mustard
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Honey
2 each Lemons, juiced
1 each Shallots, minced
2 clove Garlic, minced
1 Tbs. Flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 Tbs. Mint, chopped
1 pint Olive oil blend
TT Kosher salt and white pepper

1. Combine mustards and lemon juice, shallot, garlic and honey in a blender.
2. Slowly add in oil until well emulsified, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper

Siena Tavern Restaurant
51 West Kinzie, Chicago


After three months of peeling potatoes and shucking peapods for free in the basement of the acclaimed Trio restaurant in Evanston, IL, Chef Shawn McClain recognized David Blonsky's passion in the kitchen and offered him a job as a line cook--at the age of 16. Over the next year, he worked through every station and learned all of the components of the restaurant under the watchful eye of the experienced chef.

Blonsky began studying at the esteemed Culinary Institute of America in New York at the young age of 17. As one of the youngest students enrolled at the time, he was forced to overcome many obstacles and persevere, despite the age discrimination he faced. At the CIA, his epicurean knowledge and skills grew beyond the basics of Trio's kitchen to all things culinary.

In 1998, Blonsky took an internship at Chicago's Spago restaurant under Chef Francois Kwaku-Dongo, during which he learned the art of global cuisine. From formal French to Chinese street food, and beyond, his cooking and techniques were diversified and elevated working at the prestigious establishment.

After returning to New York and graduating, Blonsky was ready to continue his education, and did so by graduating from Florida International University with a B.A. in Hotel and Restaurant Management. During that time, he took a position with the premier catering and production company, Barton G Catering. There, he honed his production skills in catering large events for clients such as Madonna, Patrick Riley, NFL, PGA and the City of Miami, among others.

Blonsky donned his first professional toque at the renowned TRU Restaurant, working under Chef Rick Tramanto and Chef Gale Gand. He began working the amuse bouche station creating an array of different dishes with which guests would begin their meal. After proving to be very proficient at this station, he was given the opportunity to slowly work through other stations within the restaurant. The experience at TRU opened continued to fuel his passion, and Blonsky knew he wanted to continue within the culinary world and experiment with different styles of cuisine.

Two years later opportunity knocked once again, first, as a consultant for several months with the Levy Restaurant Group, and then with childhood pal and fellow CIA grad, Jordan Spritz. At Jordan's Food of Distinction, Spritz and Blonsky took on the catering world by planning and catering intimate events. The company became a new and innovative addition to the Chicago catering scene; however, despite a very successful year, Blonksy wanted to return to a professional kitchen.

He was given an opportunity at Quartino Restaurant, under celebrated Chef John Colleta, working with regional Italian cuisine. Chef Colleta taught him the simplicity of Italian food in a high-paced restaurant serving lunch and dinner seven nights a week, further growing Blonsky's culinary arsenal of knowledge. While at Quartino, Blonsky met David Rekhson, Principal of Twilight Traffic Control, who eagerly convinced him to join the DINE|AMIC GROUP team and learn the process of opening new restaurants from scratch.

Four years later, Blonsky and the DINE|AMIC GROUP successfully opened Bull & Bear in January of 2009 and Public House in January 2011 and Siena Tavern in February 2013. Blonsky is transforming classic American pub as well as Modern Italian fare by utilizing locally farmed ingredients and working closely with local purveyors. Blonsky continues to challenge himself and his staff to create unique and flavorful dishes, while maintaining a sense of comfort in his cooking style.

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