DRESSED ARTICHOKES WITH CRUSHED ALMONDS
Serves 4 as a side 4 violet artichokes, stems trimmed to 3cm (1¼in) but otherwise whole 1 unwaxed lemon 2tbsp white wine vinegar 4tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1tbsp runny honey A few fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked 50g (1¾oz) blanched almonds
Put the artichokes in a pot, cover with cold water and add 2-3 pinches of salt. Place the lemon in a small pot and cover with cold water. Season heavily with salt — lots more than for the artichokes.
Bring both pans of water to the boil over a medium heat, then simmer until the artichokes are tender and you can easily poke a small knife through the lemon — 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the lemon. Lift the artichokes and lemon out of the water and leave to cool.
Pick the outer leaves off the artichokes, stopping when you get to the tender inner ones. Trim the stems right back and chop off the top half of each bulb. Scoop out and discard the furry part (the choke), then cut in half lengthwise and break into pieces with your fingers. Cut the lemon in half and scoop out the soft pulpy inside. Remove as much pith as possible, too, and discard, so you’re only left with the peel. Tear this into thumbnail-sized pieces and place in a bowl with the artichoke.
Make a dressing with the vinegar, olive oil, honey and seasoning. Crush a few thyme leaves with a pestle and mortar and add to the dressing. Taste and adjust the flavours and seasoning. Pour most of the dressing over the lemon and artichoke and turn gently to coat. Taste seasoning, and add a little more dressing if necessary. Add the rest of the thyme, then drop handfuls of the mixture onto a serving plate. Toast the almonds in a pan on medium heat for 5 minutes, being careful not to burn them, then smash with a pestle and mortar. While hot, sprinkle over the salad and serve.