I have yet to share a quinoa recipe even though I have been eating it quite alot recently. I made the transition from cous cous to quinoa when I realised how easy it is to make quinoa and it had slightly more flavour on its own than cous cous. I like adding any finely chopped vegetables, the occassional boiled egg and plently of lemon juice so I thought for this recipe I would stick to this ethos but make the artichokes more of the star.
I had made a dressing using olive oil, lemon, wholegrain mustard and honey but I decided to use this as a sort of marinade instead because I wanted to contrast warm artichokes with a cold salad. This worked really well but you could also use it as a dressing if you wanted!
The addition of radishes and celery were for a different crunchy texture. The carrot was for colour and the watercress was definitely for that peppery flavour which complimented the artichoke so perfectly. Once again I used canned artichokes however this would taste even better with fresh!
Serves 2 as a main salad or 4 as a side dish
4-5 Artichoke Hearts (canned, frozen or fresh)
2 cups Cooked Quinoa (approx 90g dried)
2 Celery Sticks
Large handful of Watercress
1 tspn Honey
1/2 tspn Wholegrain Mustard
1/2 Lemon (Juice)
1 tspn Olive Oil
Slice the artichoke hearts into 4 pieced and place them on a baking tray. Mix together all of the ingredients for the dressing and pour it onto the artichokes and then place in to the oven at 200c for 10-12 minutes untill slightly browned on top.
Slice the radishes thinly. Peel then grate the carrot. Chop the celery. Peel the lemon and then cut into segments. Roughly chop the watercress. mix in a large bowl with the quinoa and season with some black pepper and salt if you want.
Take the artichokes out of the oven and place them on to the salad then drizzle the juices from the pan over the salad and gently mix. Serve with crusty bread or as a side to a beany burger or at a BBQ!
Ps don’t forget I am currently on my honeymoon (at the moment we will be in Toronto and then on to New York on Saturday) so please don’t be offended if I do not get back to any comments or emails straight away! I love to hear all of your thoughts so am looking forward to checking online when I can Also there will be no Friday Challenge next week but I will start with my new ingredient on the first friday of July! Can’t wait!!
I really love Ottolenghi’s vegetarian cookbook ‘Plenty’ however there are ALOT of recipes which are very dairy heavy and although this hasn’t put me off cooking from it, it has taken some time to vary the recipe so that I can eat it. You can find the book and more of Ottolenghi’s recipes here. This artichoke gratin is so delicious but the original recipe calls for a rich home made bechamel sauce and different varieties of cheese. I used a low dairy packet white sauce (not as tasty but you get a white sauce) and some light philadelphia cheese which I think still made it rich and creamy but just a little more edible for my sensitive stomach! If you are not allergic/ sensitive to lactose then go ahead and make the original recipe because it looked divine!
Before I had even put this in the oven I was having to stop myself from tucking in, it is very moreish and not all of it survived between being photographed and being served up for dinner (nom nom!). The recipe has onion, artichoke hearts (he calls for frozen but I used canned), white sauce, herbs and cheeses. I added garlic…..couldn’t help myself it just seemed like it would go perfectly.
This is a fantastic side dish and what I loved regarding the artichokes was how their flavour was not lost under all of the creamy sauce, they held their shape and flavour and really made the dish that extra bit special. I would definitely make this again for a dinner party.
Very different from my previous Jamie Oliver recipe where the artichoke was matched with fresh flavours, but in both recipes I definitely feel the artichoke’s role was to make the dish more luxurious. I’d like to bring my recipe attempt next week back towards the salad side of inspiration and use fresh flavours. This type of gratin was delicious but not something I would eat reguarly!
What I have learnt about Artichoke:
It can be cooked and sliced and it will still keep its shape as long as you are gentle when handling it. By Slicing it you can use less of the hearts and make it go further which is great if you want to be more frugal. Also I’ve learnt you can buy frozen hearts although I have still found the canned variety more widely available. Just make sure you rinse them very well as they all seem to be in salted water (yuck).
I’m feeling much more inspired this month than I was with the bread challenge! Do you have a favourite artichoke recipe?
I’ve seen ALOT of recipes pairing artichokes with citrus fruits but I chose this one because it used grapefruit instead of lemons, which I think is really different and abit more exotic. I have never been a fan of the grapefruit it’s so sharp and tangy but I thought the artichoke and salad leaves all together would tone it down. This recipe is from Jamie’s book “Happy Days with the Naked Chef” which you can buy here.
There were a few changes I had to make to the recipe, not because I disagreed with Jamie (I always try and stick as closely to the recipe as possible because at the end of the day I am doing this to learn) but because I just couldn’t find the ingredients or I couldn’t justify buying the ingredient. I omitted the Pecorino cheese shavings and feel a little sad about this because it would have added a whole other dimension to the salad, but I’m feeling the pinch this month so a block of cheese just for one recipe was out of the question. Also I could not find Frisee salad anywhere so I bought watercress and spinach leaves as I am using these for another recipe too. And finally I already had a bag of raw almonds which had the skin on them unlike the ones in Jamie’s recipe – but I decided these would be fine to use. I also added some seeds which needed using up!
As you can see Jamie’s is slightly lighter and fresher looking than mine due to the different salad base however I particuarly liked the watercress with mine. The peppery flavour really complimented the honey dressing, grapefruit and artichokes. The salad has a dressing made from lemon juice, honey, olive oil and black pepper which just bought the salad alive it was so delicious.
When I had a mouthful of just artichoke and grapefruit I was unsure that this salad worked, but when I added the dressing and watercress to the equation it was simply gorgeous and very satisfying. I liked the nuts it made it more substantial and this would make for a perfect appetiser or light lunch on a summers day.
What I have learnt about Globe Artichokes:
The artichoke is very happy when matched with citrus fruits, it brings it alive and helps tone down the tang of the fruits. The artichoke is perfect in a salad, its fresh and light and as long as it is not over whelmed it can help heighten a salad. Theres just a fine balance between bringing out it’s best and losing it behind the other strong flavours. Also I used canned artichoke and I think this is perfectly acceptable because it meant this salad took me 5 minutes to throw together!
I’ve wanted to prepare a globe artichoke for so long now but whenever I read instructions I feel baffled because it refers to the heart and the choke etc and I don’t know which bits these are! I can now tell everyone else out there putting this off that it is really very easy and it becomes obvious as you dismantle the artichoke which parts are which! For this I followed my trusted River Cottage Veg instructions for ‘Simple Globe Artichoke’. He suggests to serve it with melted butter and lemon juice but I used olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice.
The point of my Friday Challenges is to learn new skills but also share these with everyone so I decided that I wanted this post to be a step by step guide of how to prepare a globe artichoke so that you can eat the leaves and then remove the heart. So I think I don’t need to say any more (I will find that hard!!) and I’ll let my photos do the talking:
Trim the stalk so its around 3 – 5cm long
Just incase it wasn’t obvious I had cut the stem!
Pull off the tougher leaves around the bottom – I just guessed which ones were meant to be tough and it worked out fine
Place the artichoke into a steamer and cook for about 30 minutes (Stand it upright if your steamer is big enough)
It will now look like this, pull away the outer leaves
The leaves should pull away easily. You can eat the fatter bottom part of the leaf and dip it into the lemon/ balsamic dip!
Stop eating when you get to the thinner leaves! You need to remove all of these and discard them
Underneath all those thin leaves you’ll find this hairy little fella (the choke)! sooo cute! DO NOT EAT……
Scoop out the choke with a spoon! It came out quite easily and was obvious where it ended. Discard the choke!
When you are left with this trim the edges so that the rough outer skin is removed from around the heart and the stem. Then you can eat the heart too! or do what I did – pick it up dip it in the lemon and munch away – an artichoke heart on a stick haha!
I’m afraid there is no photo of the finished trimmed artichoke heart because I didn’t get that far I just took it as you see it in the last photo and dipped it in to the balsamic and lemon and ate it! Delicious! (I didn’t eat the rough skin or stem!)
If you just want to use the heart then I’d just buy canned as it seems an expensive waste to remove all of the leaves without atleast steaming and eating them! If preparing it like this then take your time and enjoy it! It’s such a wonderful vegetable
Next week I’ll actually cook with it!