Recipe Artichoke, Broad Bean and Caperberry Salad

morning glory

Obsessive cook
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Artichokes have a unique taste which almost defies description. They are a bit like asparagus, a little like hearts of palm (which if you have never tried, then you should!) and they remind me of salsify too. The other joy of the artichoke is the soft delicate fleshy part which is what I’ve used here.

Artichoke hearts can refer to the hearts of the young small artichokes, which includes the leaves, or the artichoke ‘bottoms’ of large globe artichokes (which are called Fonds d’Artichokes’, in French). It is the latter that I’ve used here. Some young broad beans, a little smoky bacon and tangy caper berries are used judiciously. You have to be very careful not overpower the delicate taste of the artichokes.

I also included the stems of the artichokes here which I left to steep overnight in their cooking water. They turn a vibrant green (something to do with chemicals in the artichoke oxidising, I believe). You could leave them out.

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Ingredients
5 artichoke hearts/bottoms (fonds d’artichokes)
50 g cooked shelled broad beans
2 stems of artichoke
6 caper berries
2 rashers of streaky bacon, grilled until crisp and crumbled
1 tsp hot english mustard (use Dijon if preferred)
Juice of a lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
Salt to taste
Fresh dill to scatter

Method
  • Cut off the artichoke stalk 1/2 an inch from the base. Cook the globe artichokes in boiling water until the stalk and base are soft when pierced with a knife. I used the microwave and they took 20 minutes.
  • Peel the stems to remove the outer tough layer. Cut the stems into 1/4 inch slices and boil until tender. I used the microwave and they took 25 mins. The next step is optional.
  • Pour off some of the water and then leave them to steep overnight. The water and stems should turn a bright vibrant green (as shown in the photograph).
  • Now you need to get to the heart! To do this, remove all the outer leaves until you are left with the hairy choke. *
  • Using a teaspoon, gently remove the choke and discard. You should be left with a concave base. Cut each base vertically in half. Rub the pieces in lemon juice to prevent discolouring.
  • Make the salad dressing by whisking the juice of a lemon with the mustard and then adding the honey and oil. Salt to taste.
  • Arrange all the ingredients on individual plates, pour over the dressing and scatter with the bacon crumb and dill.
*Cook’s perk to eat the base of the leaves scraping off the soft part on your bottom teeth!

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