The truth is I haven’t had a real, live artichoke in years. The last time I had one (that wasn’t marinated in a glass jar) was when I visited my cousin and his French wife in Normandy. As a starter she boiled up some of these earthy green wonders, whipped up some homemade mayo and boom! You took off a leaf dunked it in the mayo and sucked on that delicious flesh. But it’s one thing having them served to you, quiet another to make them yourself!
So when I saw the most crispy fresh looking artichokes at the local farmers market, and having flipped through Ino Kuvačić’s wonderful cookbook Dalmatia (Recipes from Croatia’s Mediterranean Coast) I thought I’d give them a whirl.
Rather than buying the required eight artichokes I only bought two, because, to be honest I didn’t know how they would turn out, but Ino’s recipe filling was actually enough for the two although they were quite over-stuffed (no one complained!)
- Eight (8) small artichokes, or two large ones
- Juice of one lemon
- 200 grams fresh peas
- 200 grams fresh broad beans
- 400ml vegetable stock
- 100ml white wine
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Two (2) tablespoons Italian parsley, finely diced
- 100 grams dry breadcrumbs
- 150 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- Two (2) garlic cloves, crushed
- Two (2) anchovies, chopped
- Clean the artichokes by cutting the stems 1cm from the bottom. I then used a potato peeler to shave the skin from the stem and cut about 1cm off the top of the artichoke (I had to cut about two because mine were large). Peel off one layer of outer leaves.
- Blanch the artichokes in simmering seasoned water with half the lemon juice for five minutes. Drain and leave them to cool.
- For the filling, combine the breadcrumbs with 100 ml of oil, garlic, anchovies and left over lemon juice. Season. Mix this up well and then push the mixture into the tops of the artichokes.
- Place the artichokes, facing up, into a saucepan with peas and beans. Add the stock and white wine.
- Make sure the artichokes are not submerged rather the stock covers them halfway.
- Season, cover with a lid and simmer for 40-50 minutes on low heat in the stove top.
- When cooked, sprinkle with parsley and remaining oil and serve with the peas and broad beans.
Ino’s recipe says nothing about the stock cooking juices, but I thought these were absolutely delicious and would recommend some crusty bread to sop it all up. Or maybe just use a spoon (like I did) and consume it like a soup!
Let me know if you tried the recipe and if an earthy artichoke is for you?
Dobar Tek! Zivjeli! (Bon Appetit! Cheers and let’s live!