A warm, comforting bake that brings the best of the Salento peninsula with olives, artichokes and capers. I was given this recipe by Enrica, a friend and passionate Venetian cook whom I met in a Dorsoduro café.

Serves
4

Preparation

25min

Cooking

1hr
10min

Skill level

Easy
By
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Ingredients

  • 1 lemon (if you are using fresh artichokes)
  • 6–8 medium artichokes (or 500 g/1 lb 2 oz frozen artichokes)
  • 3 large potatoes
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tbsp salted capers, soaked in water for 10 minutes, drained
  • 2 tbsp black olives (preferably from the Salento), pitted and halved
  • 1 400 g (14 oz) tin roma (plum) tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
  • sea salt
  • 100 g (3½ oz/1 cup) dried breadcrumbs
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon (optional)

Cook's notes

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.

Instructions

  1. To clean the artichokes, fill a large bowl with water and squeeze in the juice from the lemon, dropping the lemon halves in the water as well. Cut off most of the stalk from each artichoke, leaving about 2 cm (¾ in) at the top. Remove the tough outer leaves, the outer part of the top of the stalk and the top part of the leaves. Essentially, you need to remove all the tough or bitter parts of the flower. Remove the hairy choke with a teaspoon and cut the remaining artichoke heart into quarters, then each quarter into thin wedges. Keep the prepared artichokes in the acidulated water until you are ready to use them. If you are using frozen artichokes that have already been cleaned, just cut them into thin wedges.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  3. Peel the potatoes and cut them into slices that are slightly thicker than the artichokes.
  4. To assemble the tiella, you will need a 24 cm (9½ in) round or square baking dish or cake tin, or similar. Drizzle the base with olive oil and scatter over some of the garlic. Place a single layer of potato slices on the base, then a layer of artichoke slices. Scatter over half the parsley, half the capers, half the olives and half the tomato, followed by a dash of olive oil, the remaining garlic and a light sprinkling of salt. Add another layer of potato, then the rest of the artichoke, parsley, capers, olives and tomato. Finish with a final layer of potato.
  5. Pour enough water into the dish or tin to come just over halfway up the side. If you are using frozen artichokes that release liquid, you won’t need as much water – just pour in enough to come about one-third of the way up.
  6. Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl and add gradually add olive oil until the crumbs clump together. Scatter the crumbs generously over the potato layer, then cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. After this time, check the vegetables with a fork – they should be tender and cooked through. If they are still firm bake for another 5–10 minutes, then check again. When they are ready, remove the foil and bake for 5–10 minutes, until the breadcrumb topping is golden.
  7. Scatter over the lemon zest (if using) and extra parsley, and serve hot or warm as a side dish with oven-baked fish or as a vegan main meal.

 

Recipe and images from Adriatico by Paola Bacchia, Smith Street Books, RRP $55.00