A marinated artichoke salad with crunchy green beans and sauteed portobello mushrooms. Dressed with a piquant pumpkin seed, shallot, and balsamic dressing.
Do you like artichokes?
The nobbly Jerusalem variety are delicious and make a tasty soup or work great as a vegetable in their own right either boiled, roasted or pureed.
It’s the globe artichoke that up until very recently I was never really the biggest fan of. Once cooked they taste fine, it’s just that their a complete pain to prepare. Pulling off all the tough outer leaves, before scooping out the tightly packed fluffy centre, then trimming down the hard base. It’s an awful lot of work that seems to take forever.
All this has got to be done at speed, you’ve got to get your artichokes into acidulated water or else like an apple or a banana they’ll oxidize and turn black right before your very eyes.
And you’re not finished yet….Once you’ve done all this, it’s time to squeeze another couple of lemons for the juice to cook the artichokes in. I’ll often use so many lemons in my effort to keep my artichokes as white as possible that they’ll end up tasting just a little pickled.
A while back I rediscovered the joys of artichokes in a jar where all this fiddly work is done for you. The particular ones I bought were actually baby globe artichokes which are smaller, sweeter, and more tender than the bigger variety. As an added bonus they came pre-marinated in some olive oil, a little garlic, and basil. I’ve got to admit…..they taste great.