Baby Artichoke Salad
Artichokes have endless potential. Grilled, sauteed, baked, stuffed, dipped, tossed—they won’t disappoint. Their tender hearts in this salad are sure to melt yours.
Baby Artichoke Salad
8 small new potatoes
8 baby artichokes
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons garlic, smashed
1/4 cup | 60 ml water
2 cups | 8 oz | 225 g very thinly sliced leeks, well washed
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 small lemon cucumbers (or other sweet cucumber), seeded, cut into 1/4-inch | 6mm thick crescents
Fennel or dill fronds or fresh herbs, to finish
Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with well-salted water, and set over medium-high heat until the water is boiling. Boil the potatoes until tender, but not falling apart, about 10 minutes. Drain, cut them into wedges, and set aside.
In the meantime, pull all the tough outer leaves from the artichokes and keep going until you reach the tender inner leaves. Trim off the stem and 1/2 inch | 1.2 cm or so of the top. Use a paring knife to trim around the base and remove any rough remains of leaves. Slice in half lengthwise and place in a bowl of water with lemon juice until ready to use, to keep the artichokes from browning. If there is any fuzziness (“choke”) inside the artichokes, carve it out with a spoon.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, the prepared artichokes, a scant 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the water. Toss to coat. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to cook, tossing regularly, until the water has evaporated and the artichokes are tender, 3-5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, over medium-low heat, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the leeks, and another scant 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir regularly, avoiding any browning on the leeks. When they’re wilted, after 4-6 minutes, stir in the vinegar, and continue to cook on low for another 8 minutes, until completely silky and tender. Take off the heat and let cool until just warm.
Just before serving, combine the potatoes, artichokes, leeks, and cucumbers in a bowl or platter, then drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and adjust seasoning to taste. Finish with fennel or dill fronds or fresh herbs.
*Recipe credit to Heidi Swanson, author of Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel