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?