Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Glut of Artichokes - again..."Braised Artichokes with Lemon and Couscous"

It happens every year, all of a sudden our artichokes go crazy and start producing head after head.  I have started harvesting them weekly, as they seem to keep quite well in the fridge.

First this year I have just eaten them boiled, then dipped in mayonnaise or french dressing, but I am a little over that.

I own an American "Canner", which is essentially a pressure cooker, and I made some Artichoke hearts in lemon and olive oil, just like what you would buy in a jar from the supermarket.  I was very pleased with the result.  I used the recipe here http://www.sbcanning.com/2012/05/canning-pickled-artichokes.html

Here's how they turned out

Looking for more inspiration, I asked my sister in law, who has a cookbook out "Coromandel Flavour" what she had as suggestions for either preserving them or preparing them differently.  She suggested this: "Braised Artichokes"

Prepare the artichokes down to the hearts, pull off the outer tough leaves, then cut them off about 2cm above the base.  Cut each in half, and using a sharp knife remove the "choke" which is the hairy bit.  Then slice into 1/2cm slices.  Keep them in a bowl of water with the juice of a lemon to stop them going brown.

To cook: put the juice of 2 lemons, thin slices of half one of the lemons, some fresh thyme, pepper, a good slug of olive oil, and the artichoke hearts into a saute pan.  Bring to the heat and simmer about 20 mins.  Then I added fresh peas and broad beans from my garden,  heat for 2 mins or so till they are cooked.  Stir in about 1cup of couscous and add a bit more water if more liquid is required.  Turn off the heat and put on the lid.  Wait a few mins till couscous is cooked.  Stir in fresh mint, and basil leaves.  Sprinkle over pink salt.

It was very nice, but I am the only in my house who would eat it!  so there is some left in the fridge, which looks like it will be very nice to have cold today as salad.