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Artichoke bottom, pear and pecorino romano salad

Canned artichoke bottoms are readily available in most grocery stores and Italian markets. Simply rinse and dice them for this salad. They make a great holder for any bread or rice stuffing as they hold up during baking. Try using them in place of mushroom caps. This salad can be served as is or spooned over field greens, baby spinach or arugula. I also would love to use this salad as a filling for endive leaves.

1 anjou or bartlett pear, unpeeled, cored and diced

1 bosc pear, unpeeled, cored and diced

6 canned artichoke bottoms, rinsed and diced

2 ribs celery, diced

1/2 cup small-diced pecorino

Romano cheese or parmesan cheese

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons flat-leaf Italian parsley, minced

Salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Combine all ingredients in a nonreactive large bowl and stir well. Allow to marinate at least 10 minutes to marry flavors.

Per serving: 155 calories, 70 percent calories from fat, 12 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 7 milligrams cholesterol, 7 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams total fiber, 3 grams total sugars, 5 grams net carbs, 5 grams protein, 245 milligrams sodium.