Saturday, May 11, 2013

Artichoke Salad with Spinach, Feta
and Sugar Snap Peas


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 Peas

Adapted from the recipe for Spinach Salad with Broad Beans, from Fish and Figs by Jacques Fricker and Dominique Laty.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Empty artichokes into a strainer to drain, and gently rinse under warm running water, being careful not to break the artichoke pieces apart.
  3. 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.
  4. Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice and cumin seeds and drizzle over salad.

23 comments:

  1. Your photos are beautiful Lisa. I don't like artichoke but the photos are so pretty I might change my mind! Maybe I will try your rinsing idea.

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    1. Yes try it Jenny! The vinegar in marinated artichokes can be quite strong but becomes much more subtle when rinsed. Artichokes have a lovely texture and they go so well with feta.

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  2. Artichokes are a pain to clean...I agree with you! Love the salad! So fresh and inspiring Lisa!

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    1. Thanks Peter! The salad turned out very well with the rinsed artichokes. They absorbed the lemon and cumin flavours beautifully.

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  3. i've tried making roasted artichokes a while ago and they just didn't turn out right. your looks so juicy and perfect! i'm going to have to give it another shot ;)

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    1. Oh roasted artichokes sound interesting! I might have to give that a try. Perhaps wrapped in foil might help keep them moist? Yum, a bit of chargrilling wouldn't go astray either.

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  4. Ooh, bookmarking this! Can't wait until we have fresh peas ready to pick in our garden, because this salad sounds delicious. The work involved with fresh artichoke + the price has always deterred my husband and I from buying them, too.

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    1. Oh I envy you having fresh peas on the way Christy! We don't have room for a veggie garden (and we rent) but peas would be one of the first things I'd plant if we did!

      I always thought globe artichokes were something entirely different to what you buy in the jar. Now I know that's because the bit you get in the jar is the bit that's buried down under all those tough leaves! I think I'll stick to the jarred variety for now :)

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  5. I've really been into the marinated artichokes lately. I think they are very flavorful and add to any salad. Yours looks amazing.

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    1. That's great Judee! Even though I rinsed all the marinate flavours away, the artichokes still imparted a lovely flavour to this salad.

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  6. Lisa certainly make vegetarianism looks so attractive with your recipes. Lovely salad.
    You're absolutely right about the artichokes. Why lose time and money when there are tasty artichokes in a jar?

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    1. Thank you Mina and yes, the artichokes from a jar have worked very well with this salad! I wonder if jarred artichokes in Greece are any different than the ones we find in Australia?

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    2. I dont think so, I have used artichokes in jar, after rinse, and was very tasty.

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  7. All flavours I adore! What a lovely salad, I can imagine it being a nice balance of lightness and richness, crunch and creaminess.

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    1. You've absolutely hit the nail on it Cindy - lightness and richness, crunch and creaminess. These are the salads that I call meals :)

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  8. Ooh we've planted peas in our garden recently so once they are ready to eat I shall have to give this a go! I have never been the biggest fan of artichoke but I think your idea of rinsing them and re-flavouring them might just be what I needed! Thanks Lisa!

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    1. Yes try it Liz! I'm going to try re-flavouring artichokes with Indian spices next time. Yay for home-grown peas!! So jealous...

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  9. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way about artichokes! I bought them for the first time last year and I couldn't believe that those big things yielded so little actual food. What a lovely, simple salad!

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    1. Yeah, small yield for a lot of effort! Stick with the jars I say!!

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  10. Artichokes are one of my all-time favourite foods. And I never though to eat them like this! So fantastic.

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    1. Thanks Stacey. Delicious crunchy green stuff goes so well with the softness of the artichokes.

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  11. Haha, Nice fact about artichokes. I'll keep my eye out the next time I make them for dinner!

    By the way, this dish sounds great. I love the different textures and bright flavors you mixed together!

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    1. Yeah it's funny some of the trivia you find in cook books! Thanks for the lovely comment Miachel.

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