After finding some born-again love for artichoke to make Vegetarian Magiritsa (Greek Easter soup) last Monday, I've been inspired to do more with this interesting little vegetable.
Sometimes I find strongly-flavoured marinated artichokes a little overpowering, so for the Magiritsa recipe I went out and bought fresh globe artichokes for the first time in my life.
A quick search on google gave me all the instructions I needed to prepare an artichoke for cooking. What I didn't realise is how much of the artichoke needs to be removed before you finally pare it down to the little edible chunk in the centre of the vegetable! At $2.50 each I felt slightly ripped off, especially when you can get a whole jar of marinated artichokes for around $2.
So I've been thinking that I could try rinsing marinated artichokes to remove the strong pickled taste, reflavour them with lemon juice, olive oil and cumin seeds and toss them in a salad with some leafy and crunchy things. I did this for lunch today and some serious magic happened – it was delicious!
This salad is based on a beautiful recipe I found in Fish and Figs, a cook book of recipes from the island of Crete by Jacques Fricker and Dominique Laty. I love this bit of trivia from the book:
"At the time of the Roman Empire, artichokes were recommended for the elderly, apathetic, or melancholic. In the seventeenth century, artichokes were considered an aphrodisiac, so young ladies were forbidden to eat them."
Well I just ate a bowl full of them for lunch. Does that mean I should whip out the chastity belt?
Artichoke Salad with Spinach, Feta and Sugar Snap PeasAdapted from the recipe for Spinach Salad with Broad Beans, from Fish and Figs by Jacques Fricker and Dominique Laty.
- 1 200g jar of marinated artichokes
- 150g baby spinach leaves
- 200g sugar snap peas
- 80g feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- Using a sharp paring knife, carefully slice open the sugar snap peas lengthways along the curved edge of the pod. Remove the peas and place in a small bowl. Also keep sugar snap pod halves for the salad.
- Empty artichokes into a strainer to drain, and gently rinse under warm running water, being careful not to break the artichoke pieces apart.
- Place spinach leaves in the bottom of a salad bowl. Lay artichoke pieces, feta and sugar snap pods over spinach leaves and sprinkle the peas over the top.
- Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice and cumin seeds and drizzle over salad.