Braised artichokes with fennel, tomatoes, olives and preserved lemon

Braised artichokes with fennel, tomatoes, olives and preserved lemon

By
From
A Year In My Kitchen
Serves
4

This is a vegetable dish that really holds its own. It is a lovely way to serve globe artichokes, undoubtedly the most beautiful member of the thistle family. Deeply nourishing, with sage lending warm base note tones, it is a perfect dish for a cooler summer’s evening.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 heads fennel
1 lemon, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
25g unsalted butter
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 globe artichokes
2 bay leaves
3 teaspoons chopped sage, plus extra leaves to garnish
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 dried red chilli
small pinch saffron threads
4 good quality ripe tomatoes
1/2 preserved lemon, chopped
100ml see method for ingredients
12 little black olives
2 tablespoons see method for ingredients, or to taste
freshly grated parmesan, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Trim the fennel and cut off the base, then remove the fibrous outer layer. Cut each fennel bulb into quarters and squeeze over a little lemon juice.
  2. Place a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat, add the olive oil and butter and heat until the butter has melted. Add the fennel, season with a little salt and cook for 10 minutes or so.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the artichokes – a sharp knife is imperative. Lay each artichoke on its side on a board, then cut off the top third and discard. Cut off the stalk and trim all the way around the base until you come to the choke – you should now just be left with the heart. Cut the artichoke heart in half and, with a small paring knife, remove the spiky, fibrous inner choke. Quickly rub the artichoke hearts with the cut lemon to prevent discolouration.
  4. Add the artichoke hearts to the fennel along with the bay leaves, sage and garlic. Crumble in the dried chilli and saffron and stir to combine. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the pan, along with the preserved lemon, then pour in the chicken stock. Cover and cook in the oven for 40 minutes or until the fennel is very tender, adding the olives for the last 5 minutes.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning then spoon over the basil oil and scatter over some sage leaves to garnish. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and serve.
Tags:
seasonal
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