(For more on how to prepare fresh artichokes, check out our Greek Artichokes 101 blog.)
get to the heart
2. Look for firm round artichokes that are green without brown spots or stems that look woody (a sign that they’re not so fresh).
3. Prepare a very large bowl with acidulated water: Combine the juice from 1 fresh lemon with 3 to 4 cups of cold water.
4. Cleaning the artichokes: Rinse well under cold running water. Snap off the tough outer leaves and discard. Snap off the remaining dark green leaves and reserve to use in a soup or stew (if saving for a future use, transfer the leaves to a freezer bag, press out all the air, seal and freeze up to 1 month; if using the same day, transfer to the acidulated water). Trim the base of the artichokes, removing the trimmed leaf remnants until you just reach the heart. Hold the heart firmly in one hand and, using a spoon, scoop out the choke and discard (follow along with this how-to).
5. After cleaning each artichoke, immediately transfer to the acidulated water, submerging completely. This will keep the artichokes from discoloring and turning brown (this method also works for fruit and other vegetables as well).
6. Leave the artichokes in the acidulated water until ready to marinate.
The marinade sets the tone for the type of flavor you want your food to have. In this case, Greek-island, naturally, is the theme.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Makes: 2 cups
2 cups fresh artichoke hearts (you can also use frozen when artichokes aren’t in season), quartered
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Drain the artichoke hearts and pat dry with paper towels.
2. In a large saucepan, combine the artichoke hearts, oil, salt, oregano, thyme, marjoram, and pepper. Bring to a simmer over low heat, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leaves are just fork tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Transfer to a bowl with a lid. Add the lemon juice and gently toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (Can be refrigerated up to 1 month.)
This recipe is versatile, so if you don’t love onion, leave it out. If you like bell peppers, add your favorite colors. Try making this salad with chickpeas or serving it over pasta instead of greens. Make sure you substitute equal amounts of ingredients and you’ll be good to go!
Total prep time: 15 minutes
Makes: About 6 cups, serving 4 to 6
1/4 cup olive oil
Zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves (or ½ teaspoon dried)
2 cups marinated artichoke hearts (recipe above), drained
1/2 cup crumbled feta (not domestic)
1/4 cup kalamata olives
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 seedless cucumber, peeled and sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 or 5 pepperoncini peppers
2 cups (about 5 oz) mixture of baby spring salad greens
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or dill
1. Make dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, zest, lemon juice, and oregano.
2. In a large bowl, combine artichokes, feta, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and peppers.
3. Pour the dressing over the artichoke mixture and gently toss to combine. (Can be covered and refrigerated up to 1 hour before serving.)
4. Spoon the artichoke salad over the salad greens, sprinkle with parsley or dill, and serve.
Recipes by Kelly Salonica Staikopoulos
Copyright © 2020 Kukla's Kouzina: A Gourmet Journey~Greek Island Style
Our Warm Artichoke-Salad Spread recipe can be found in our Spreads & Dips cookbook, available on Amazon.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s how-to cooking post. Stay tuned for more Greek cooking techniques and recipes in upcoming blogs.
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Kali orexi! Good appetite!
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