Baby ar­ti­chokes, goat’s cheese and sun­dried toma­toes

The Observer Food Monthly - - END OF YEAR SPECIAL NYE FEAST -

Ar­ti­choke is one of my favourite veg­eta­bles. You can do so many things with them, and once they are con­fited you can keep them for a cou­ple of days, so it will make the day of the feast­ing a whole lot eas­ier.

Serves 8

vi­o­let or white baby globe ar­ti­chokes 12 lemons 2 olive oil 1 litre gar­lic 5 cloves, skins on, crushed bay leaves 3 thyme ½ bunch soft goat’s cheese 100g sun-dried toma­toes 12 dry flaked chill­ies 1 pinch pars­ley leaves 16

For the crisp panko bread­crumbs

olive oil panko bread­crumbs 50g gar­lic 1 tbsp, chopped

For the dress­ing

olive oil 100ml mosca­tel vine­gar 50ml banana shal­lots 2, peeled and finely chopped salt and pep­per to taste

Direc­tions

For the ar­ti­chokes, re­move the first three lay­ers of ar­ti­choke leaves, and peel and cut the stalks leav­ing 10cm in length. With a bread knife, cut the head of the ar­ti­choke leav­ing only the stalk and the bot­tom half of the ar­ti­choke. While you are do­ing this, keep all the ar­ti­chokes in cold wa­ter with the juice of two lemons to avoid ox­i­da­tion and dis­coloura­tion.

In a medium-size pan (one that can go in the oven), add the oil, gar­lic, bay leaves and thyme, and cook un­til the gar­lic is golden. Add the ar­ti­chokes, mak­ing sure that they have been rinsed and dried, cover the pan with foil and put it in the oven at 140C/gas mark 1 for 20-25 min­utes un­til the ar­ti­chokes are soft. Wait for them to cool, then re­move them from the oil and cut each of them in half. Place them all on a large serv­ing plate, add crum­bles of goat’s cheese, the sun-dried toma­toes and flaked chill­ies, and scat­ter the pars­ley leaves around.

In a medium pan add a driz­zle of oil, the panko bread­crumbs and the gar­lic. Toast over low heat un­til golden brown and sea­son to taste. Sprin­kle on top of the ar­ti­chokes.

For the dress­ing, mix the olive oil, mosca­tel vine­gar and shal­lots. Stir well un­til emul­si­fied and driz­zle over the top of the veg­eta­bles. Sea­son to taste.

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