It’s spring… which means I can’t help but bring home artichokes from the farmers market. They’re just SO pretty, although they take a bit of effort to clean and cook.
My first tip for fresh artichokes is to use them in a pretty simple way so you can really appreciate their delicate flavor after you’ve put in the time to prep them. Save your artichoke dip recipe for canned or jarred artichokes.
Tip number two: delegate artichoke-trimming to someone else in your family! The day I brought these home, my mom (who’s been staying with us lately), gave me a “what are you going to do with those” sort of look, right before I handed them to her to figure out. She made the artichokes while I made this sweet pesto. I put it all together with some leftover farro, chickpeas, feta and a handful of fresh herbs.
If you find yourself with leftover pesto, slather it on toast with a poached egg, or on a stacked veggie sandwich the next day.
- about 6 baby artichokes
- 2 small lemons
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- pinches of salt and pepper
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove
- ⅓ cup peas, thawed
- juice of most of 1 small lemon
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1.5 cups packed spinach
- ¼ cup mint
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- generous amounts of salt and pepper
- 1.5 cups cooked farro (tip: cook farro in advance)
- 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- a few handfuls of baby salad greens and/or sprouts
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
- roasted artichoke hearts
- generous dollops of pesto
- salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 475 degrees. Trim your artichokes. I love this little animated tutorial). Place artichoke hearts in a bowl of water with sliced lemons (so they don't brown), until you get them into the oven. Brush a small baking dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Remove artichokes and lemons from the water, shaking off excess water. Toss artichokes with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange them, cut side down, along with the sliced lemons, in the baking dish. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
- While your artichokes roast, make the pesto. Combine pine nuts and garlic in a small food processor. Pulse, then add peas, lemon juice and dijon mustard, spinach and mint. Blend until combined. Add olive oil and blend until smooth (or as smooth as you like).
- Assemble the salad with cooked farro, chickpeas, salad greens, feta cheese, and sliced artichoke hearts. Toss with a big squeeze of juice from your roasted lemons and season well with salt and pepper. Add a few dollops of pesto and serve remaining pesto on the side
vegan version: skip the cheese
gluten free version: use quinoa or another gluten free grain
Roasted artichoke preparation adapted from ATK’s The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook.