I picked the first Globe Artichokes from our allotment this week and that prompted me to prepare this Provencal dish from Ruth Watson’s ” The Really Helpful Cookbook”. The Globe Artichokes were served on a separate plate and dipped in the garlicky aioli along with the other vegetables. You can vary the vegetables but should include a combination of hot and cold. My vegetarian husband simply omitted the prawns.
- 5 plump garlic cloves peeled and crushed
- 3 large free range egg yolks
- 300 ml coconut or groundnut oil
- 125 ml light extra virgin olive oil
- juice of half a lemon
- 1-2 tbsps lukewarm water
- 6 Globe Articholes
- 1 kg small waxy potatoes e.g. Jersey Royal, Charlotte
- 400 g small organic carrots topped , tailed and peeled
- 200 g fine french beans topped and tailed
- 24 cooked prawns or crevettes
- 1 fennel bulb trimmed, outer leaves discarded and cut into 6
- 6 large free range eggs hardboiled and peeled
- 100 g kalamata olives or other black olives
- First make the aioli. Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature before you start. Put the crushed garlic cloves in a mortar, add a large pinch of coarse sea salt and pound with the pestle until the garlic is almost a puree. Add the egg yolks and bash until blended with the garlic. Tip into a bowl.
- Mix the two oils together in a jug. Dribble them very slowly into the bowl, pounding as you go. You can use a small whisk if preferred. As the aioli thickens you can increase the dribble to a thin stream, but always make sure the oil has been thoroughly incorporated before you add more.
- When the aioli stiffens up dramatically add a small squeeze of lemon juice and a touch of lukewarm water so you have a thick, glossy emulsion. Check seasoning and add more salt, lemon juice or water as needed.
- To prepare the artichokes first slice off the top third of the leaves and cut off the stems. Cook, uncovered, in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for about 30 minutes. To test if they are done scoop one out of the water with a slotted spoon. Pull at a bottom leaf and if it comes away cleanly they are ready. Remove the artichokes from the pan and leave to drain welll, upside down, then keep warm.
- In the meantime cook the potatoes, carrots and french beans. You can do them in the pan with the artichokes or a separate pan. starting with the potatoes, then the carrots, and finally the beans. You want them all the be ready at the same time- neither floppy nor crisp but tender.
- To assemble arrange all the ingredients on a large platter or individual plates with the aioli served in a bowl alongside. Everyone should help themselves, dipping into the aioli. You could serve some crusty baguette alongside. Put a bowl for the debris from the artichokes on the table too.
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