Barigole of Artichokes

Début de l'été 2007
food and drink

BY: Nigel Didcock, Chef, Granite Club

This classic way of preparing artichokes is a favourite of Nigel Didcock. Team with grilled peppers, olives and other preserved vegetables as part of an antipasti platter, or serve as an accompaniment to grilled fish.

Four 8 oz (250 g) artichokes
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1/3 cup (75 mL) olive oil
1 small carrot, finely diced
1 small leek (white part only), cleaned and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, halved
3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
½ cup (125 mL) white wine
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup (250 mL) chicken stock, plus a little extra if necessary
½ tsp (2 mL) Dijon mustard

1. Work with 1 artichoke at a time and be careful of its prickles. Snap off all the leaves until a soft cone of inner leaves is revealed. Slice this off with a sharp knife. Trim end of stem, then cut artichoke in half lengthwise and peel stem. Using a teaspoon, scrape off any remaining leaves and the thistles from the centre. Immediately rub a lemon wedge all over artichoke, coating it well with juice to prevent browning. Repeat with remaining artichokes.

2. Heat a deep medium saucepan over medium heat then add ¼ cup (50 mL) oil. Add carrot, leek, garlic, thyme and bay leaf then cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until vegetables start to soften but are not brown. Add artichoke hearts, remaining lemon wedges, wine, salt and pepper to taste, being frugal with the salt, as the acidity of the lemon juice and wine will help season the dish. Increase heat to high, then boil, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes, until wine has evaporated.

3. Discard lemon wedges and pour in stock, adding more if necessary so the artichokes are just covered. Place a plate over the artichokes to keep them submerged, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, until artichoke hearts are tender when pierced with a knife. Remove saucepan from the heat and let artichokes cook in liquid.

4. Strain artichokes, reserving 2 tbsp (25 mL) cooking liquid. Discard thyme and bay leaf and arrange artichokes, garlic and most of the vegetables on a serving platter, discarding remaining vegetables.

5. Whisk reserved cooking liquid, remaining oil and mustard in a small bowl until creamy. Taste and season if necessary; drizzle over artichokes.

Serves 4 to 6

What to Serve