My experience with artichokes is limited but I did take the challenge on today to make this recipe for lunch. Not all went well, I left too many tough outer leaves on and my cooking time could have been a bit longer. But, all was eaten and gone before I looked again, so the taste was good. Specially with the mayonnaise, it is something special. For some Buxers it was a first, but not the last! -enjoy-
Ingredients (serves 4 as a starter or side dish)
4 large globe artichokes
5 tbsp lemon juice
1 medium baking potato, peeled and cut into 12 wedges (similar in size to the artichoke pieces)
1 large sprig fresh thyme, plus 1 tbsp picked leaves
Salt and black pepper
10g chopped dill
5g chopped tarragon
50g pea shoots
1 tbsp olive oil
For the mayonnaise:
1 egg yolk
¼ tsp Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1½ tsp white-wine vinegar
¼ tsp caster sugar
75ml sunflower oil
Cut most of the stalk off the artichokes and remove the tough outer leaves by hand. Once you reach the softer leaves, cut 2-3cm off the top, and trim the base and around the stalk. Cut in half lengthways, so you can reach the heart, and scrape it clean of hairs. Dip the cleaned heart halves in acidulated water (one or two tablespoons of the lemon juice mixed with some water), then cut each into three triangular segments.
Put the artichokes in a medium saucepan with the potato. Add the remaining lemon juice, the thyme sprig and three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt, and add water just to cover (around 500ml). Bring to a boil, then simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, until the tip of a small, sharp knife goes easily into both potatoes and artichokes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
For the mayonnaise, put all the ingredients bar the oil in a small food processor bowl. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil and process to a firm, glossy mayonnaise. Refrigerate until needed.
To assemble, drain the artichokes and potatoes, and mix in a large bowl with the thyme leaves, dill, tarragon, pea shoots, olive oil, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and some pepper. Serve with a dollop of mayo and another good grind of pepper.