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!