There’s something magical about artichokes, no doubt. Visit any food market in Greece this time of the year and you’ll notice them straight away. Quite intriguing, don’t you think? Their exterior might be armour-like but their sweet, delightful hearts are irresistible. Excellent any way you approach them: steamed, grilled, roasted, sautéed; you might recall us writing love letters to them, too. This recipe is all you need to celebrate their peak season.

Ingredients for 4 persons

•12 fresh, prepared artichoke hearts (preserved in water with the juice of 2-3 lemons) or jarred/frozen
•2 carrots
•2 spring onions
•80 g red onions or shallots
•250g potatoes
•60g peas
•2 lemons
•Dill
Evoo
•Salt and pepper
•Vegetable broth (optional)

Method

Initially, chop onions and spring onions. In addition, chop carrots and potatoes in dices. In a wide pot heat the olive oil over medium heat olive oil and sauté the onions for a few minutes until soften. Alternatively, if you’re using shallots, sauté them whole in a small pan and add them in the pot towards the end.

Continue with carrots and potatoes until softened. Add vegetable broth or water. Afterwards, put in the artichoke hearts to the mix, some more broth or water. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice, cover and let simmer for 30-35 mins. Towards the end, add the peas and the shallots and boil for 10 minutes approximately. Shake the pan to distribute, instead of stirring. Check the seasonings and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

This dish can be served hot or cold. As all “ladera” dishes, they are a match in heaven with feta!


Who said meals during Lent are boring? Far from strict fasting, every year we are looking for creative and delicious ways of enjoying vegetables, legumes and fish. Pair this wonderful salad with seafood: fried or baked calamari, shrimps with garlic or classic grilled octopus. Artichoke is a stunning and intriguing vegetable; the bud of a flowering plant from the thistle family. Whether raw, steamed, grilled, roasted, or sautéed it is a delightful spring treat. Great pairings include: pea, lemon, potato, mint, pork, lamb, prosciutto, shellfish and truffle.

Serves 6

Preparation: 20 mins

Ingredients:

8 fresh, prepared artichoke hearts (preserved in water with the juice of 2-3 lemons) or jarred/ frozen
2 fennel bulbs, very thinly sliced
1 bunch of rocket (we only need the leaves) or 2 cups of green salad of your liking

For the vinaigrette

5-6 anchovies filleted, well strained
½ teacup of evoo –we recommend 18°C 
½ teacup of chopped dill
Juice and zest from 2 small lemons (preferably organic)
½ teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground pepper

Method

Prepare the vinaigrette first by mixing all the ingredients together: anchovies, evoo, dill, juice, grated lemon, sugar and pepper in a blender and pulp them well. Afterwards, start the salad by cutting the artichokes in 4 pieces and every single piece in thin slices. Wash and dry the salad. Spread the fennel slices on a platter and drizzle the vinaigrette on top. Furthermore, add a layer of artichokes. Drizzle a bit of vinaigrette on them, as well. We could also prepare the salad in advance and cover it with cling film for 2-3 hours. When serving, add the rocket or salad and pour the remaining vinaigrette.

*Inspired by Nikolaou D. (2009, March), Lenten Feast, Gastronomos,  35.