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.
To use them it was a simple matter of draining off a little of the oil and glazing them in a hot pan to add a little colour and a caramelised nutty flavour.
Once my marinated artichokes were cooked I added some sliced mushrooms to the pan. Ideally I wanted to use some wild mushrooms to go with my marinated artichokes. Ceps and chanterelles would work wonderfully well. But unfortunately I couldn’t get my hands on any, I guess nobody was out foraging, so I made do with some portobello and chestnuts instead.
Next into my marinated artichoke salad went some crunchy green beans which I split in half lengthways. This is just for presentation, feel free to leave them whole if you want. Just make sure to keep them as green as possible by cooking in plenty of boiling salted water and once done cooling quickly in some icy water.
Finally the dressing without which no salad is complete. I used some fragrant pumpkin seed oil infused with tart balsamic and sweeten with some finely diced shallots. Along with a handful of roasted pumpkin seed to add a little crunch.
Pumpkin seed oil can be a bit difficult to get your hands on. It’s a great ingredient for a salad dressing, it’s got a really wonderful deep green colour and a intense savory flavour.
You won’t probably won’t find it in your local supermarket but a lot of health food shops stock it, If you can’t get your hands on some just substitute hazelnut or a walnut oil instead.
Generously pour your dressing over the marinated artichoke salad and give everything a good toss just before serving.
There you have it, an easy and quick marinated artichoke salad that you could whip up in 10 minutes.
Do you use tinned or artichokes in a jar? Or do you like a bit of hard work and go to all the trouble of cooking them fresh?