This is going to be the ultimate in "short and sweet" blog posts today, since time is truly against me today, but this one is just too good not to share - besides this is my contribution to Cookbook Sundays this week, and already it is Tuesday. The use of fresh artichokes and broad beans make this of course a quintessentially spring dish, but if you're living with the chill of autumn evenings right now you could just as easily make this with frozen artichokes and broad beans (and of course frozen peas), without any compromise to flavour. The pink peppercorns in this add a lovely aromatic flavour, and a little bit of crunch, but if you can't get them I think I would leave them out - I don't think substituting with black or white peppercorns would work so well. Though having just said that I think brined green peppercorns would make an interesting alternative.
Baked Artichokes & Broad Beans Recipe
Adapted from "Ottolenghi, The Cookbook"
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
2 large globe artichokes (or frozen artichoke bottoms)
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon pink peppercorns
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
250g shelled broad beans
250g frozen peas
extra pink peppercorns
handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
flaky sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (390 degrees F).
Juice one lemon and add the juice to a bowl of cold water. Cut a second lemon in half - set one half aside for garnishing, keeping the second half at hand for use as you prepare the artichokes. The artichokes oxidise quickly, so keep rubbing them with the cut side of the lemon flesh as you work. Firstly peel off the tough outer leaves - they will kind of snap off near the base. Then using a knife, trim around the bottom of the artichoke and peel away the tough, fibrous, outer layer of the stem. Cut off the top half of the leaves. Then cut them in half lengthwise, and scoop the "hairy" choke out of the middle. Cut each half into thin slices, about .5cm (1/4 inch) thick, and drop them into the lemony bath.
(If using frozen artichoke bottoms, simply slice and continue as follows)
Juice the remaining two lemons, and reserve two of the empty lemon shells.
Drain the artichoke slices and spread them out on a baking tray. Add the lemon juice, the reserved lemon shells, the bay leaves and thyme, sliced garlic, peppercorns, white wine and olive oil.
Cover with a sheet of tin foil and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the artichokes are tender. Remove from the oven, remove tin foil, and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add the broad beans and peas and blanch for two minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Allow to drain and dry in the colander, and then remove the tough outer skins from the broad beans.
Discard the lemon shells from the artichokes. Mix the artichokes with the broad beans, peas and parsley in a large serving bowl. Cut the reserved lemon half into thin slices and add to the bowl. Season to taste with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and sprinkle over just a few more pink peppercorns.
This is best served at room temperature, and I also found that leftovers kept well for a couple of days. This makes a great starter or side dish, or is beautiful on its own for a lovely spring lunch.
This is still my favourite book this year, and as I've told you before - if you only buy one new cookbook, let it be this one.
I'm submitting this post to Cookbook Sundays, hosted by the lovely Brenda at Brenda's Canadian Kitchen. She's worth a visit any day of the week, but why not head over there right now and see who else has dusted off their cookbooks - you'll almost certainly find some great recipes, and maybe you'll discover a new book you'd like to add to your collection.