Apr042017

Posted in Recipes.

I can imagine that some of you look at artichokes and think, ‘I’d like to eat that, but I can’t figure out how the heck to even cook it, never mind what part of it I should be eating!’

Artichokes look tough to handle, but they’re actually really easy to prepare and versatile! If you’ve never had a fresh artichoke, now’s the time to break the ice with this beautiful vegetable (that’s actually the bud of a flower).

To pick a good artichoke, look for ones that have tightly packed leaves and healthy green color, and a fresh appearance. You don’t want an old, dehydrated artichoke!

There are two types of artichokes that we see here in North America; the globe artichoke, which is the large one, and baby artichokes, which are fully-grown but around the size of a golf ball. Baby artichokes can be trimmed and eaten whole, which is what I did for this recipe.

 

Artichokes need to be prepared before you cook them, and you can see how to do that here.

Nutrition-wise, artichokes are a powerhouse! They actually contain 4 grams of protein per artichoke (the globe ones), and they’re a source of antioxidants and fiber – including prebiotic fiber that feeds your good gut bacteria. Score! Artichokes are also sources of vitamin C, folate, and magnesium

I developed this vegan tagine recipe as an entry to a contest (wish me luck!), and it turned out so well that even my mom, who is the harshest critic of all, was speechless. I’m serious, she gobbled down the entire plate. I then brought it to my brother and his girlfriend, who devoured the ENTIRE rest of the recipe. That is a LOT of tagine we’re talking about. Needless to say, I know you’ll love this recipe as much as we all did.

After you grill the artichokes, the entire thing comes together really fast. It’s basically a one-pan meal if you exclude the grill and the couscous.

Don’t let the grilling step scare you, okay? And one more thing: don’t leave the artichokes on the grill for too long. They’re really delicate and need only about 5-6 minutes to cook! No burned artichokes allowed!

Preserved lemons can be found in most major supermarkets and Trader Joes for all you lucky Americans (we don’t have TJ’s in Canada, boooo). Remember that before you cook with preserved lemon, you need to rinse it and remove the centre. You’re only using the rind.

Enjoy.

FYI: for some reason, WordPress is making the photos on this post very dull. To enjoy the photos in their true brightness, just click on them to expand them. That seems to work. Abby

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Tagine with Grilled Artichokes, Chickpeas, and Preserved Lemon

This Moroccan-style dish is the perfect combination of sweet and savoury!

Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 540ml (19oz) cans chickpeas drained
  • 1 lb mini artichokes trimmed
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 tablespoons neutral oil such as grapeseed or canola
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2-3 tablespoons of diced preserved lemon about 1/5 of a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 3-4 cups hot cooked couscous
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. First, prepare the artichokes.
  2. Preheat your grill to medium high.
  3. Trim the tops and bottoms of each artichoke and remove the outer leaves. Halve each artichoke.
  4. Toss the artichokes with 1 tablespoon oil and a sprinkle of salt, and lay each artichoke half directly on the grill.

  5. Grill, watching closely, for 5-6 minutes or until the artichokes are soft and browned. Some of the outer leaves may brown deeply and curl; remove those once you take the artichokes off the grill.
  6. Set the grilled artichokes aside.
  7. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy skillet on medium high heat.
  8. Add the onion, cooking until translucent and fragrant, then add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  9. Turn the stove down to medium heat.
  10. Add the tomato paste, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and coriander and stir with the onions and garlic until they’re coated.
  11. Add the chickpeas, and apricots and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often.
  12. Add the artichokes and preserved lemon and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring to combine.
  13. Remove from the heat and toss in the mint and parsley.
  14. Add salt to taste.

  15. Serve over hot couscous.

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