Yotam Ottolenghi features fresh artichokes in this great Turkish recipe and he explains how to prepare them. If you can’t get freekeh, you can use bulghur, but you will need to cook it for only 5 minutes before draining and refreshing it.
- 4 large globe artichokes (2.5 kg gross)
- 3 medium lemons, juiced (120 ml), plus ½ lemon, thinly sliced (40 g)
- 2 large thyme sprigs
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 10 black peppercorns
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 60 ml (¼ cup) water
- 1 pinch salt, plus ½ tsp extra
- 200 g fresh or frozen green peas
- 100 g freekeh, rinsed
- 15 g mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 10 g dill, roughly chopped
- 15 g parsley, roughly chopped
- black pepper
- 3 tsp pink peppercorns
- 10 g purple basil, leaves picked
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To clean the artichokes, cut off most of the stalk and remove the tough outer leaves by hand. Once you reach the softer leaves, use a sharp serrated knife to trim off 2–3 cm from the top. Cut the artichoke in half lengthways so you can reach the heart, and scrape it clean with a small knife. Rub the clean heart with 1 tsp of the lemon juice to stop it discolouring. Cut each artichoke half into 5 mm–thick slices. Place in cold water and stir in half (about 50 ml) of the remaining lemon juice.
Drain the artichokes and place in a sauté pan. Add the remaining lemon juice, thyme, garlic, black peppercorns, olive oil, lemon slices, water and salt. Cook on medium heat for 20–25 minutes, or until artichokes are soft and the sauce is a thick consistency.
Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan with plenty of cold water and bring to the boil. Add the peas and blanch for 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to immediately plunge them into cold water, then drain and leave to dry. Add the freekeh to the same pan and gently simmer for about 20 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, refresh under cold water and leave to dry.
Place the artichoke and juices in a large mixing bowl. Add the peas, freekeh, mint, dill, parsley, extra salt and some black pepper and toss gently. Taste to see if more salt is needed and scatter with the pink peppercorns. Garnish with the purple basil.