Chilaquiles Verde

Travel is always so inspiring to me as a cook. I return from trips overflowing with ideas and possibilities. Apart from my Chinese heritage, I would say travel is the single most important and consistent influence on me in all aspects of my life, not just in the kitchen.

As Diana Vreeland eloquently said “I certainly didn’t learn anything from the school. My education was the world.”

An experience of the world never leaves you. Often unknowingly, it seeps into every part of your life and consciousness. For me, the physical evidence of world experience usually manifests on the plate. Our recent trip to Playa del Carmen had me thinking about Mexican food in a new way. The food there is full of color and vibrancy. But even though the food is punchy, there is also a delicacy and subtlety to the flavors. The dish I loved most was chilaquiles verde, a traditional peasant dish of fried tortilla chips bathed in salsa verde. As with many of the great dishes of the world, chilaquiles has humble beginnings – the dish was born in Mexican homes as a way of using up leftover tortillas and salsa. In Mexico, we ate chilaquiles with a fried egg for breakfast but for me, it’s the perfect dinner for all the family. My kids didn’t try this in Mexico but at home in Brooklyn, they loved it served with a fried egg, cucumber, corn and crème fraiche.

For the salsa verde, I used tomatillos, which are similar to unripe green tomatoes. In America, they are very common but in Australia, they are probably impossible to find. I certainly can’t remember seeing them anywhere but please leave a comment if you know where to buy them. For non-US readers, substitute the tomatillo with unripe tomatoes and perhaps add a squeeze of lime juice to mimic the tomatillos signature tartness.

I fried corn tortillas to make chips but you could just use good quality, store-bought corn chips (choose unsalted if you can).

 

Chilaquiles verde

If you are using unripe tomatoes in place of tomatillos, remember to add more citrus (lime) to the tomatoes to inject some tartness. Cooled salsa can be stored in the fridge in a clean, sterilized container for up to 2 weeks.

Serves 4

  • ¾  - 1 cup olive oil or sunflower oil
  • 20 fresh corn tortillas, cut into 4 wedges
  • sea salt
  • 1 cup vegetable stock

Salsa Verde

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, roughly chopped
  • 500g (1 lb) tomatillos (or unripe tomatoes), roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • juice of ½ lime

To serve

  • fried eggs (1-2 per person)
  • cucumber, sliced
  • cooked corn
  • crème fraiche
  • few handfuls crumbled cotija or feta cheese
  • handful coriander (cilantro) leaves

 

Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat; once hot, add olive oil, tomatillos and jalapenos, along with 2 tablespoons of water. Once it boils, reduce heat to low and cook until it is very soft – about 10 minutes – stirring often. Place the tomatillo mix into a high-powered blender, add the coriander along with a pinch of salt and a few turns of black pepper. Blend until smooth. Taste and season with more salt and a squeeze of lime juice. Set aside.

Add a good drizzle of oil to a large, deep skillet and heat until it is very hot (you could also use a deep fryer or wok). Reduce the heat to medium, and panfry the tortilla chips, working in batches, turning them so that both sides are golden and crisp. It should take less than 3 minutes for each batch. Transfer to a paper towel to drain, and immediately sprinkle with sea salt.

In a large skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil, along with the salsa verde and vegetable stock. Stir and bring to a simmer. Add the fried tortilla chips, turning them to coat the chips in the sauce. Cook until the tortilla chips are warmed through.

To serve, spoon chilaquiles onto a serving plate, top with a fried egg, sliced cucumbers, corn, cheese and spoonful of crème fraiche and a scattering of coriander leaves.

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Creamy Yellow Lentils and Potato Stir Fry from Vibrant India

I was a relative latecomer to Indian food. The first time I tried it, I suspect I was in my late teens and a university student. During those days, food choices were made based on value for money! One of our favourite cheap eats was curry from the cafeteria-style Indian eateries that are found in Sydney. These eateries were usually predictably named -  think monikers like “Taj Mahal” or “North Indian Diner” - and they all offered the same fare. At the hot counter, we would feast on dishes such as dal, vegetable korma, aloo matar, saag paneer and buttery naan. Back in those days, our choice of 3 curries with rice set us back about 5 bucks. Cheap and cheerful at its best. 

My early Indian food foray didn’t prepare me for the curry epiphany that I would experience in London. In the UK, going for 'a curry' is part of the culture, a meal tantamount to the burger and chips or pizza of America. We ate curry, of both Indian and Bangladeshi origin, all over the city; sometimes in Brick Lane, but more often in local pubs or neighborhood eateries. We often took visiting friends to a bustling, touristy Masala Zone in Soho for grand thalis. On the night before I gave birth to my first child Scout, I scoffed a very hot curry at the old Bombay Bicycle Club in Holland Park (now closed) to encourage her arrival (she was 9 days late by this point!!). It worked; she was born the next day. Curry, it seems, serves many purposes!

My Indian odyssey this week comes care of Chitra Agrawal’s new book Vibrant India. This is a beautiful, sentimental volume, showing the lighter, fresher side of Indian cuisine. The recipes are inspired by Chitra’s family traditions from Bangalore, journeying to Brooklyn, where she interpret’s her mother’s traditional South Indian recipes for local home cooks. Chitra’s recipes are a refreshing take on Indian cuisine. Ironically, far from the heavy curries that I formerly favoured, Chitra’s style of cuisine is often called the “yoga diet”, based on seasonal produce, grains, legumes coconut, yoghurt, along with spices, herbs, citrus and chili. And best of all, all recipes are vegetarian.

I might just add, Chitra is a lovely person. And also a very talented cook with her very own range of Indian condiments called Brooklyn Delhi. If you are looking for a new go-to sauce, try her tomato achaar which is my new obsession. It now stands side by side with my other essential condiment, New York Shuk’s harissa.

Today, I’m delighted to share two recipes from Vibrant Food – I cooked these dishes for my kids this week and they loooooved them both. They especially love wrapping the potato stir fry in lettuce cups! Fun and delicious…

GIVEAWAY TIME! I’m delighted to be giving away a copy of Chitra’s Vibrant India. To enter, just comment below and let me know your favourite Spring fruit or vegetable…or your favorite Indian dish! Competition is open to US and Canada residents only. I’ll announce the winner Friday 7th April!
CONGRATULATIONS TO JILL FERGUS, who won a copy of Vibrant India. Happy Cooking.
 

 

 

 

 

Recipes from Vibrant Food by Chitra Agrawal (Ten Speed Press)

My note for the below recipes:

I didn’t have any asafetida so I left it out of both! It was still sooooo good. I also didn’t have all the right legumes or know the correct translation for all the ‘dals’ so here is what I used:

Creamy Yellow Lentils:

For the moong dal, I used yellow split peas.

For the urad dal, I used whole black lentils

Potato Stir-fry

For the chana dal, I used yellow split peas

For the urad dal, I used whole black lentils

I substituted dried curry leaves for the fresh ones. 

 

Creamy yellow lentils with tomato and ginger (Hesaru Bele Thovvay)

Serves 4 

  • 1 cup moong dal 
  • 4 cups water 
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (about 20 leaves) 
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated 
  • 2 to 3 Indian green chiles or serrano chiles, finely chopped 
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric powder 
  • 1 to 1 1⁄4 teaspoons salt 
  • 2 teaspoons ghee (page 202) unsalted butter, or canola oil 
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon black mustard seeds 
  • Pinch of asafetida (hing) powder 
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon urad dal 
  • 1 shallot or 1⁄4 red onion, chopped 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped 
  • Juice of half a lemon (about 1 1⁄2 tablespoons), plus more as needed 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish 

SERVING OPTIONS 

  • Chapatis or other flatbread 
  • Cooked rice
  • Raita or plain yogurt 

Dry-roast the moong dal in a saucepan over medium heat until they are golden brown and have a nutty aroma, 2 to 3 minutes. (This step is optional but reduces the stickiness of the dal.) Thoroughly wash the moong dal, using a fine-mesh colander. 

Combine the moong dal and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Skim the foam off the top. Mix in half of the curry leaves and the ginger, 1 or 2 green chiles, and the turmeric powder. Simmer, partially covered, over medium-low heat until cooked, about 30 minutes. The dal should be easily mashable and creamy in texture. Season with 3⁄4 to 1 teaspoon of the salt. Turn off the heat. 

Put the ghee in a small frying pan over medium heat. when melted, add one black mustard seed. when the seed sizzles and pops, add the rest of the mustard seeds and the asafetida. keep a lid handy to cover the pan while the mustard seeds are popping. When the popping starts to subside (a few seconds) immediately add the urad dal. Stir to coat with oil and turn the heat down to medium-low. Continue to stir the dal so it evenly roasts, until it turns a reddish brown and smells nutty, less than a minute. Rub the remaining curry leaves between your fingers a little to release their natural oils and drop them, along with the remaining green Chile into the ghee. Cover immediately, as moisture from the curry leaves will cause the ghee to spatter. Then stir to evenly coat everything with ghee, a few seconds.

Add the shallot to the pan and fry over medium heat until softened and translucent, a couple of minutes. Next, add the garlic and fry until fragrant. Mix in the tomato and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook until the tomato is falling apart, 4 to 5 minutes. 

Pour the flavoured ghee and tomatoes over the soup and mix. Let it all boil together for a minute or two. The consistency should be on the thicker side for soups, able to be scooped up in a chapati or to loosely rest on rice. Turn off the heat. Mix in the lemon juice and cilantro. taste for salt and lemon juice and adjust if needed. Garnish with more chopped cilantro. 

Serve hot with chapatis or enjoy plain or over rice with a dollop of raita on top. 

When reheating thorvay, add water to get it back to your desired consistency, as it has a tendency to thicken up in the fridge. 

 

 

Potato stir-fry with onion and ginger (Alugedde Palya)

Serves 6 

  • 3 medium red or Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed (about 11⁄2 pounds) 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 tablespoons mild-flavored oil such as canola, plus more as needed 
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (page 202) or unsalted butter 
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon black mustard seeds 
  • Pinch of asafetida (hing) powder 
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon chana dal 
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon urad dal 
  • 4 or 5 fresh curry leaves 
  • 2 teaspoons peeled, grated fresh ginger 
  • 1 Indian green chile or serrano chile, chopped 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced 
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric powder 
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves 

Place the potatoes in a pot and add water to cover by 2 inches. Add the salt to the water and boil over medium-high heat until the potatoes are cooked through and tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let them cool. When cool, coarsely chop the potatoes into bite-size pieces. 

Put the oil and ghee in a wok or large frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add one black mustard seed. When the seed sizzles and pops, add the rest of the mustard seeds and asafetida. Keep a lid handy to cover the pan while the mustard seeds are popping. When the popping starts to subside (a few seconds), immediately add the chana dal and urad dal. Stir to coat with oil, and turn the heat to medium-low. Continue to stir the dals so they evenly roast, until they turn a reddish golden brown and smell nutty, less than a minute. Rub the curry leaves between your fingers a little to release their natural oils, and drop them, the ginger, and green chile into the oil. Cover immediately, as moisture from the curry leaves will cause the oil to spatter. Then stir to evenly coat everything with oil and continue to fry until the ginger and chile are less raw, 10 to 15 seconds. 

Add the onion and turmeric powder to the pan. Turn the heat to medium. Mix well and cook until the onion is softened and translucent. Mix in the potato and stir-fry until they start to become soft and mashable. If the pan is getting dry, add a little oil. Turn off the heat. Mix in the lemon juice and cilantro. Taste for lemon juice and salt and adjust if needed before serving. 

 

Creamy broccoli and cheddar soup with cheesy chickpeas

I’m just back from Mexico where I ate too much and did very little. We visited a small bungalow resort on Playa Xcalacoco, a small local beach in the northern part of bustling Playa Del Carmen. Most days were spent poolside reading Zadie Smith’s brilliant Swing Time, indulging in beachside massages, lying in hammocks listening to the hypnotic crashing of waves, followed by a dip in the warm Caribbean Sea. Even as a native Sydney-sider, I’ve never considered myself a beach person. I generally loathe sand. But this trip, I realized how much I miss the ocean. The fearlessness of the sea, the never-ending horizon and bright skies made me feel completely at home.

Mexico is colour. Nothing is muted. Everywhere you venture, there are pops of vibrant hues to be savoured – brilliant red macaws, fluorescent pink flamingos, radiant blue skies, and courageously-bright architecture.  At one of our favourite eateries El Fogon, a little taqueria in Playa Del Carmen frequented by locals and tourists alike, the vividly painted walls are a jaunty backdrop to the famed al pastor, a Lebanese-inspired shawarma spit-grilled meat. Eating is lively and immersive, with sauces, tortilla chips and lots of small plate filling up tables, and music amplifying the air. I was so inspired by the complex-yet-clean flavours in Mexico – my new obsessions are a green ‘salsa verde’ made of parsley and mayo, habanero sauce, queso fundido and chilaquiles in green tomato sauce. Expect some Mex-inspired recipes in the months ahead!

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Back in Brooklyn, the weather is warmer than it should be at the beginning of March. This is always disheartening to me. While I love a bit of unexpected warmth, you can’t help but feel that the world is spiraling a bit out of control right now. So, despite the unseasonable warmth, I’m making soup this week. Because it is Winter, the season of soup. I just might be eating it in my tank top ;)

It is no secret that I have a MAJOR CRUSH on broccoli. I seriously could eat it at every meal. In this simple recipe, broccoli joins cheddar in a classic pairing, topped with addictive cheesy chickpeas. My daughter recommends a squeeze of lemon to the soup just before eating – she says it gives the soup a ‘lift’. I just nod and do as she says.

 

Creamy broccoli and cheddar soup with cheesy chickpeas

I used an aged cheddar but you could also use pecorino, parmesan or gruyere. The creaminess is from the tofu! No cream necessary.

Serves 4

  • 700g (2 small) broccoli
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 5 cups vegetable broth/stock
  • 200g firm tofu, crumbled
  • 100g sharp cheddar, grated
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • ½ lemon, to serve
  • handful parsley leaves, to serve

Cheesy chickpeas

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp grated cheese
  • pinch sea salt and black pepper

 

Cut the broccoli into florets. Retain the stalks, removing the woody outer layer.

In a large pot on medium heat, add oil and onions and saute for 60 seconds. Add the garlic and fennel seeds and cook for 2 minutes, until soft and aromatic. Toss in the broccoli and cook for 5 minutes, until the broccoli gain a nice char. Add the broth and tofu, and allow to cook on medium heat, uncovered, for another 5 minutes, until the broccoli is tender. Remove from the heat, and immediately add the cheese – the heat will melt the cheese. Using a handheld blender or food processor, blitz the soup until very smooth.

In a small bowl, add the chickpeas along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the cheese and stir to combine. Season with a pinch of sea salt and turn of black pepper. Heat a small frypan on medium heat. Once hot, add a small drizzle of oil and add the chickpeas. Fry for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan often, until the chickpeas are golden and crispy.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Top with a few cheesy chickpeas, and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and a scattering of parsley leaves.

Sautéed dates with cinnamon-roasted butternut squash, wheat berries and blue cheese

While it feels against the odds, mid-winter is often the time of the year when I feel most inspired in the kitchen. With the chilly air swirling outside, my kitchen is warm and cozy, the perfect place to hibernate for hours and enjoy the quiet lull of my oven.

This Winter has been a busy one in my kitchen. I’ve been cooking lots of Asian food, and getting to know many of the foods I grew up eating. This Asian food odyssey is all part of a special project I’m working on, which I hope to tell everyone more about soon. The project is an intensely personal one, a labour of love, as most of my endeavours tend to be. More on that soon….

Daily, I’m looking for big flavours at the moment. I am looking for huge contrasts in flavours that will shock my taste buds and make my heart race. The other day, I bought the hottest, fieriest kimchi I’ve ever eaten from Wholefoods which I savored like no other – super spicy gives our bodies such a welcome kick start during the Winter. The other ingredient I’m loving more and more right now is medjool dates. I’m usually not big on using dates as a sugar replacement but after meeting and chatting to the wondrous and beautiful Susan Jane White this week, and checking out her new book The Virtuous Tart, I think I’ve converted to the possibilities of dates in both sweet and savory dishes. Susan’s vegan caramels which she brought to our talk at Rizzoli Bookstore made my taste buds stand up and cheer. Predictably, I ran straight to the store and stocked up on dates!

Armed with my medjools, I have created a lovely, simple seasonal salad featuring big, bold flavours. Dates are on the extreme end of the sweet flavor spectrum, so I decided to embrace this and contrast them with one of the saltiest flavours I know, blue cheese. The butternut squash, roasted in cinnamon is a surprising aromatic addition. I have used wheat berries in this recipe, but beware – as a wholegrain, they take a long time to cook. If you are less committed to this lengthy cook time, opt for split freekeh, farro or pearl barley.

 

Sautéed dates with cinnamon-roasted butternut squash, wheat berries and blue cheese

Use your favorite blue cheese. Stilton or gorgonzola are perfect, and goats cheese would work well too.

Serves 2-3

  • ¾ cup wheat berries or farro, rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic, skin removed
  • 3 cups (500g/1lb) chopped butternut squash
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 medjool dates, seeds removed and quartered
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 100g blue cheese
  • handful of walnuts
  • sea salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 375˚F / 190˚C.

Place a medium pot of salted water on medium-high heat and add the wheat berries and garlic clove. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to low and simmer for 45-60 minutes until the grains are soft. Wheat berries take closer to an hour, while farro cooks a bit quicker. Drain and mash up the garlic with the grains.

Place the butternut squash on a baking tray and scatter over the cinnamon, season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, and drizzle over 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss everything to combine. Roast in hot oven for 30-35 minutes, until squash is golden and tender.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the dates and turn them for just 1-2 minutes, until they are caramelized and sticky. The skin will be slightly crispy. Remove from heat and sprinkle with a big pinch of sea salt.

Combine the grains with the butternut squash, arugula and parsley. Drizzle over some olive oil, add a squeeze of lemon juice, and season well with sea salt and black pepper. To serve, scatter over the dates, blue cheese and walnuts.

 

Twice-cooked artichokes with sriracha aioli

No matter how far or wide I travel, my strongest memories of wandering are always tethered to the foods that I have tried and savoured. I love stumbling into a city or a region to find that they are famous for a particular dish or ingredient.

Italy has provided me with some of my most memorable traveling food moments. In Puglia, where the wild, rustic olive trees command the horizon, I feasted on handmade orecchiette that the locals served with cime di rapa (broccoli rabe) and garlic, or fresh tomato with ricotta cheese. In Venice, stumbling through laneways will land you in a bacaro where you will relish cicheti - tasty little morsels of seafood, meat or vegetables - to nibble on with a glass of Aperol, Campari or Prosecco. While in Sicily, smoky scamorza, a stretched pear-shaped curd cheese, will add flavour to your pizza and pasta. In Verona, you may find yourself accidentally enjoying horse meat in a stew sophisticatedly named Pastissada de Caval (don’t worry, it was my husband, and not I, who unwittingly ate horse - he quite enjoyed it! J).

In Madrid, their famous sandwich bocadillo de calamares, a crusty bread roll filled with deep fried rings of calamari, is found on practically every street corner. In the south of France, we happily gorged on Carmargue red rice, savouring its chewy texture and nutty flavor. On the Turkish coast, I gluttonously gorged on manti, tiny dumplings smothered in yoghurt sauce.

The world, in all its bottomless diversity and wonder, never fails to deliver unforgettable food memories. When my family and I toured the Californian Coast last Christmas, we didn’t expect to find many regional food traditions. But as we drove down the 101, from San Francisco towards Big Sur and beyond, we noticed many roadside signs hawking deep-fried artichokes. My interest was piqued. A bit of research told me that a nearby town called Castroville, in Monterey county, calls itself the “artichoke capital of the world”. The town started producing artichokes in the 1920s when Swiss Italian immigrants enthusiastically planted not only artichokes, but also wine vineyards. Castroville even stages its own Artichoke Festival every year. This story resonated with me strongly. I have always adored the single-minded, intense celebration of one magnificent vegetable. But I also cherish this simple story of immigrants bringing such positive, enduring and delicious change to the American culinary landscape. Important to remember during times like these.

For the next two days, as we stayed in nearby towns of Carmel-by-the-Sea and San Luis Obispo, we did indeed feast on artichoke. Sometimes the whole head was simply steamed and served with lashings of olive oil and sea salt. But most often they were deep-fried and accompanied with aioli. Today’s recipe is my own version of fried globe artichoke. Rather than a traditional batter, I have used chickpea flour to gently coat the artichoke as I love the rich, nutty flavor. Chickpea flour tends to brown very quickly when fried, so I have briefly pan-fried them, and then roasted them in the oven to give them extra time to soften inside. I also whipped up a quick sriracha aioli to add a hit of creamy spice.

And while I’m here, I wanted to share some photos from this aforementioned Californian adventure. As I mentioned, we started our journey in San Francisco, and drove down Highway One, through stunning Big Sur. Big Sur is surely one of the most stunning spots in the world. The jagged mountains with dramatic drops into the Pacific Ocean just floored me. The whole Cali coast did remind us a lot of the Australian landscape - the burnished colours of the grasslands, the shape of the hills, the light of the coast and the azure seas, did make us feel like we were home. From Big Sur, we ventured to Santa Barbara where we stayed at the Montecito Inn, our favourite hotel of the whole trip. I didn’t know this prior to our visit, but Santa Barbara was the movie making capital, before Hollywood. Most of the movie production companies were once based there and Charlie Chaplin loved the area so much that, in 1928, he and some investors built the Montecito Inn as an upscale getaway. It was also the location of his 1943 wedding to Oona O’Neill. Today, the hotel is incredibly understated and retains its vintage charm. We loved it.

We ended our trip in Palm Springs. I fulfilled a life-long dream to visit Joshua Tree National Park, where the mystic allure of nature and the quiet air of the park really moved me. I am constantly grounded by the extreme beauty found in the American landscape. During these tough socio-political times, looking to nature, engaging with the world around us, and embracing the simplicity of just ‘being’, are the only tangible antidotes to the turmoil of bigotry and hate.

 

California, 2016

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Tartine Bakery

Tartine Bakery

The Mission

The Mission

Street portrait, Fishermans Wharf area

Street portrait, Fishermans Wharf area

Jellyfish at Monterey Aquarium

Jellyfish at Monterey Aquarium

Not to be missed, Bixby Bridge, Big Sur

Not to be missed, Bixby Bridge, Big Sur

Julia Pfeiffer State Park Beach

Julia Pfeiffer State Park Beach

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara

Vintage Charmer, Montecito Inn

Vintage Charmer, Montecito Inn

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Cactus heaven, Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium, Palm Springs

Cactus heaven, Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium, Palm Springs

 

Twice-cooked artichokes with sriracha aioli

This recipe is gluten free and vegan. I used my favourite vegan mayonnaise brand Vegenaise, which is, in my opinion, one of the yummiest mayos out there, vegan or not.

Serves 4 as a snack or 2 can enjoy with extra salad leaves as a main dish

  • 4 globe artichokes
  • ¾ cup chickpea (garbanzo) flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 1-2 cups salad leaves
  • sea salt and black pepper

Vegan sriracha aioli

  • ½ cup vegan mayonnaise such as Vegenaise
  • 1 large-ish (or 2 small) clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp sriracha sauce

Preheat oven to 350˚F / 180˚C.

Prepare a bowl of acidulated water – water with lemon/lime juice – to keep the artichoke from browning.

One at a time, remove the outer leaves of the artichoke until you get to the tender yellow leaves. Slice off about 1-2 inches off the top of the leaves, or enough to remove the tough tips. Cut them in half vertically and, using a spoon, scoop out the hairy choke. Repeat for both halves and place in the bowl of citrus water. Do the same with the rest of the artichokes.

In a medium bowl, combine the chickpea flour, salt, and paprika and mix well. Drain the artichokes and drizzle over the olive oil – toss to coat the artichokes well. Roll each piece of artichoke in the chickpea flour mixture until well coated.

In a skillet, heat the sunflower oil and when hot, add the artichoke pieces, one at a time. Turn the pieces until each side is golden. Place the pan-fried artichoke into a baking tray and place in the preheated oven. Roast for 15 minutes or until the artichoke is tender.

To make the sriracha mayonnaise, whisk together all the ingredients.

To serve, place the salad leaves on a plate and top with the artichokes. Serve the sriracha mayo on the side, or drizzled over the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.

 

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