Grilled Artichoke, Bean & Caper Salad

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Preparation info

  • For

    Four

    Starter Portions
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

The Sugar Club Cookbook

By Peter Gordon

Published 1997

  • About

To my mind few things are more delicious – and fun – to eat than a boiled artichoke served at room temperature with a herb and mustard dressing. For some, however, this vegetable is as much of a challenge as a whole spiny lobster, with all the work of attacking the surrounding covering to get at the fleshy prize. So, to help your guests appreciate its taste, you can serve artichokes in a more prepared state, as here. The lemon and coriander in this recipe give an additional flavour and are a tip from fellow chef Jon O’Carrol. Artichokes prepared in this way also make an excellent topping for bruschetta.

Ingredients

  • 8 artichokes, stems removed at the base
  • Salt
  • 400g (14oz) fresh beans, topped and tailed
  • 2 lemons, cut into eighths
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds

Dressing

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons seed mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 teaspoons capers, drained

Method

Bring a large pot (large enough to hold the artichokes comfortably) of salted water to the boil. Add the beans, bring back to the boil and cook until al dente (about 2 minutes). Remove using a slotted spoon and refresh in cold water. Put the lemon pieces and coriander seeds into the pot and boil for 1 minute, then add the artichokes and return to the boil; cook on a rolling boil for 15—25 minutes – the time will depend on the size of the artichokes. To test, insert a skewer or sharp knife into the base and push into the centre: they are cooked when this can be done with only slight resistance. Remove the artichokes from the water, drain with the stem side up and leave to cool.

When the artichokes are cool enough to handle start pulling off the leaves. (The leaves are edible: you just hold the outer edge and scrape the fleshy bits off with your teeth, so they could be served as a separate dish.) Once all the leaves are removed pull out the centre ‘choke’, which is fibrous and inedible. Trim off any bits that look too chewy with a sharp knife. Lightly brush the hearts with some of the olive oil and grill until they start to colour a golden brown. This can be done on a skillet, over a barbecue or under a domestic oven grill. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing together well and pour over the artichokes, mix in the beans and leave to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. Check for seasoning.