Artichokes were always something mysterious to me. They were either painted on my favourite classical still lifes by old Dutch masters or appeared in the recipes of famous food bloggers I follow on the Instagram. I tried them pickled on the top of pizza, but I always wanted to try them fresh. Artichokes are neither usual in my native Odessa (and I can’t understand why, the climate there is close to North Mediterranean now) nor in Bratislava. However Tesco gave me another surprise and last week I found Violetto artichokes among vegetables right under a box with rhubarb. The price was high enough, so I bought just some. Of course they were not so fresh, beautiful and fragrant as those at Italian or French farm markets, but ok, it’s still nice that I can expand my cooking horizons.
So, I made a salad from my first artichokes. Here is the recipe:
(2 big portions)
Artichokes – 3 pcs.
Cherry tomatoes – 10 pcs.
Arugula – 1 bunch (I mixed arugula with a half of the head of lollo rosso salad, as summer arugula from the farmer market was too bitter to my taste).
Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, mix of fresh herbs (I had basil and coriander), lemon juice, 1 glove of garlic.
Well, the first, main and basic question about artichokes is “how to peel them?”. Trust me, it was easy even for me, who was holding artichokes in his hands for the first time.
– cut the stem, leave up to 4 centimetres and peel it with a vegetable peeler
– cut off half of petals on the top of the artichokes
– fuzzy part in the center of the artichoke is uneatable and can be easily removed with a spoon
– cut off rubber petals at the base. Artichokes cut in this way are often sold pickled under the name “artichokes hearts”.
– as soon as the artichokes are piled, put them into the water with juice of 1 lemon, as otherwise they will quickly become dark on the air.
– when all artichokes are peeled, boil them in the water with lemon juice for 30 min.
After 30 min. remove artichokes from the water, cool them and cut into quarters. Then I decided to make an easy marinate. Mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cut herbs, crushed garlic, pinch of salt, pinch of pepper and few teaspoons of lemon juice in a bowl. Put artichokes into this bowl, stir and put them to fridge for a few hours.
And now the final comes
Mix in a salad bowl your marinated artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes (I’ve cut them to quarters), arugula and lolla rosso, season with olive oil. You can also add a tiny pinch of salt and pepper, but it’s up to your taste, because artichokes marinated in this way have quite intensive taste themselves.