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Artichokes with Vinaigrette

I love the shared ritual of eating artichokes – tearing off the petals one by one and scraping away the small portion of tender flesh with your teeth. They make a lovely starter served with hollandaise, brown butter or this light, zingy vinaigrette.

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15-20 mins
Serves: 6 as a starter

Ingredients

  • 6 medium-large artichokes
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • Shallot Vinaigrette
    • 1 tbsp very finely chopped shallot or spring onion white
    • ¼ cup boutique extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
    • 1 tsp dijon mustard
    • salt and ground black pepper

Method

  1. Trim the stem from each artichoke and remove the tough outer layer of petals at the base. If not cooking at once, place trimmed artichokes in a bowl of water mixed with 2 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar. This will help to prevent browning.
  2. When ready to cook, place artichokes in a large pot, cover with water and add salt. Boil until they are very tender and the petals can easily be pulled off (about 15-20 minutes, depending on their size). Lift out with a slotted spoon, drain thoroughly and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. To make Shallot Vinaigrette, shake all the ingredients together in a small jar.
  4. Place artichokes on a serving platter or individual plates and gently press down on top to open out the petals into a flower shape.
  5. Drizzle with half the dressing and place the rest in a small bowl for dipping. To eat, pull off petals and scrape the soft part from the base of the petals with your teeth.
  6. As you get towards the heart, cut or scrape out the prickly choke in the centre and eat the tender heart.