artichokes with a tahini – sesame dipping sauce

17th April 2016

artichoke

A particular favourite with my daughter.

mandala edge

artichoke5

mandala edge

This is another recipe which was created for the Holmes Place magazine as an ongoing concept of seasonal ‘superfoods’ throughout the year.

Globe artichokes, with their sharp, sometimes prickly edged ‘petals’ are actually the plant’s flower buds and will open up into showy mauve thistle heads.  When picked young as in this recipe, their heads are small and tight, they can be eaten in their entirety.  The real treasure – lies hidden.  This is found by removing all the petals and ‘furry ‘choke within, revealing the grey-green tender heart.

When buying artichokes, choose those which the petals are still rather closed, not open.  They will be more fresh and tender.  Buying in season and buying fresh you will benefit more times over from their amazing health benefits.  Not only being full of fibre, they also have the highest level of antioxidants out of all vegetables, a good source of Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, folate, and iron.   They are also very good for the liver and were used for centuries as a traditional liver tonic.

artichoke

artichokes with a tahini – sesame dipping sauce

serves 4

Depending on how big your artichokes are I offer two artichoke globes per person.

to cook :

In a large heavy-bottomed pot on medium heat, add enough water to cover the artichokes, add a bay leaf and a slice of lemon. (This adds a nice flavour to the artichokes.) Leave to heat while you prepare the artichokes.

If using large globes, cut the thorn tips off all the leaves using a pair of scissors – not necessary when using smaller globes.  Pull off any smaller leaves towards the base and on the stem.  Trim off the bottom, leaving about an inch of the artichoke stem.  The stem is more bitter than the rest of the artichoke, edible if you remove the tough outer layer using a vegetable peeler.  Cut off one centimetre off the tip of each artichoke.

Rinse the artichokes in cold water.  Open up the petals a little so that the water does get inside more easily.

Add the artichokes to the boiling water.  Cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, (depending on the size of the artichokes) or until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off and a knife tip goes easily into the base of the artichoke.

artichoke in pot

to serve :

Artichokes can be eaten cold or hot. Serve them with your favourite sauces, melted ghee, mayonnaise, a simple mix of olive oil, salt & lemon or a sesame dipping sauce – like the one below. I usually choose a few to satisfy each member of my family.

tahini – sesame dipping sauce

2 Tblsp sesame seeds – I used an even amount of white & black

¼ cup tahini

1 Tblsp rice vinegar or umeboshi plum vinegar

1 Tblsp tamari

1 Tblsp honey

cup water

In a high-speed blender, add the sesame seeds and grind until they are roughly ground. Add the tahini, vinegar, tamari, oil and water, and blend until well mixed. Depending on the preferred thickness of the tahini, you may need to add more water. I like the consistency quite thick. I tend to double the recipe and use leftovers as a salad dressing or served with brown rice and sautéed vegetables.

artichoke

to eat :

Pull off the outer petals, one at a time, starting at the base and dip in the sauce, then bite off the soft part found at the base of each leaf. Discard and compost the tough leaves in a pile as you go.  When all the leaves have been enjoyed, you will come to the choke, with a spoon scrape out and discard the fuzzy part covering the artichoke heart, the remaining is the heart.  The treasure!  Savour, dip and enjoy the journey.

to eat 1

Reference: ‘Tender’-Nigel Slater

Goodness shared from Stacey

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