Artichokes are often seen as hard work to prepare, but in this traditional style recipe, the prep work is done as you eat them, which makes them a great dish to share and take time over with friends. The dressing is strong and punchy, so if you would prefer it to be milder, reduce the amount of mustard, or swap some of the olive oil for sunflower oil. Anything that is left works brilliantly in a sandwich, on salad, or with chips.
180ml Early Harvest Olive Oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
½ tbsp salt
2 bay leaves
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp fennel seeds
100ml white wine
4 globe artichokes
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed to a paste
1 ½ tsp Merlot vinegar, or good quality white wine vinegar
50 ml sunflower oil
1 tsp mayonnaise (if necessary)
In a stainless-steel pan that will fit the artichokes, combine 2 tbsp olive oil with the vinegar, salt, bay leaves, white wine and spices with 2 litres of water, cover and place on a high heat. Bring to the boil then turn down to s gentle simmer to infuse whilst you prep the artichokes.
Using a sharp, serrated edge knife, cut the stalk off the artichokes then remove the point from the top, around 2 – 3 cm. Place in the pan and add more water if needed to cover, then bring up to simmer, cover and cook gently for 20 minutes.
Remove an artichoke with a slotted spoon and test if it is cooked. If you can remove one of the leave from about 1 cm from the edge with just a little resistance, then they are done. Remove the rest from the liquid and place upside down on a rack or colander so that they can drain until lukewarm.
Whilst the artichokes are cooking, make the dressing by combining the Dijon mustard, garlic, vinegar and a splash of water. Begin adding the remaining olive oil and sunflower oil, a little at a time, whisking constantly. You could also make this in a small food processor. Keep adding the oil and whisking until you get a thick emulsion. If the mixture splits, place 1 tsp of pre-made mayonnaise in a bowl and slowly whisk in the mustard mixture. The mayonnaise helps by binding everything together.
Serve each artichoke warm with a small pot of the dressing on the side, so that the leaves can be dipped into it. Once all the leaves have been used, scoop out the thistle from the centre and eat the heart too.