I learnt this dish from my mother. She would make it with fresh artichokes when they were in season, otherwise she would use artichoke hearts already precooked. It’s a dish typical from the Ebro valley where artichokes are widely grown. "This dish has that perfect Mediterranean feel and calls for white over red. Australian grape growers haven’t yet nailed Spanish white varieties so it’s a very easy decision to turn back to Italy and inspiration from the island of Sardinia. The earthy, yet delicate, artichoke flavours are fortified by pan-frying and some strong accompaniments – beautiful cured ham and egg. With some bold flavours and a hint of oiliness to it, this dish is crying out to do battle with a crisp, refreshing, light yet punchy Vermentino." - Dan Coward
- 4 eggs
- 300 ml white wine vinegar
- 300 ml dry white wine
- 50 g table salt
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ bunch thyme
- 1 whole head garlic, cut in half
- 12 medium globe artichokes
- 2 lemons
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 6 thick slices jamón serrano, cut into julienne
- 2 tbsp chopped continental parsley
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.
Drink Chalmers Vermentino 2011, Heathcote, Vic
Place the eggs in a pot of boiling water for 7 minutes. Plunge the eggs straight into iced water. Leave to sit for 10 minutes. Peel and set aside until needed.
Fill a large pot with 4 litres of water. Add the vinegar, 200 ml of the white wine, salt, bay leaves, thyme and garlic.
Prepare the artichokes by pulling the outer leaves and trimming part of the top of the artichoke and its stem. With a turning knife peel the green part of the artichoke heart and stem until the white flesh is exposed, being careful to maintain the round shape of the artichoke. Rub with half of a lemon and place in the pot. Repeat the process with the rest of the artichokes.
Add the peeled artichokes to cold water and gently bring to a boil. Simmer until just cooked, this should take approximately 20–25 minutes. Check with the point of a knife. They should be slightly firm otherwise they’ll overcook when they’re sautéed. Put aside and let them cool. Once cold, cut into quarters and remove the choke (fibrous centre) from the heart of the artichokes.
In a sauté pan big enough to fit all the artichokes, heat the olive oil over a moderate heat and sweat the spring onions for 3 minutes. Add the jamón and sweat for another 2 minutes. Add the artichokes and sauté for a further 3 minutes. Deglaze with the remaining 100 ml of the white wine. Finish with the chopped parsley and garnish with eggs, cut in quarters.