Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Artful Chokes!

Carciofini & Purè di Patate alla Menta al Forno
Baked Baby Artichokes with Mint Mashed Potato


Oh baby! How I love those little artichokes! Quicker to cook and somehow more versatile than the large ones, I really enjoy trying out new things with them... Although of course I do have some favorite ingredients to enjoy them with! And mint is one of them!

And of course, another ingredient that tastes wonderful in combination with mint is potato... So that was settled! Artichokes and potatoes were what I made for supper- as you can well see! And don't they look good?!!


This would be a wonderful side dish, a delightful antipasto... Or if you eat the whole lot, like I did this evening, and absolutely delightful meal!

It also happens to be vegetarian... Of course... Even vegan... And totally healthy to boot! So, it should be something that everyone will enjoy... Hopefully!

But most importantly of all... I loved absolutely loved it, myself!


For my 2 little servings this evening, I needed 3 baby artichokes, either 4 small potatoes or 2 larger ones (I just photographed the 2 small ones this evening to have a pretty picture!), 1 shallot, some fresh mint and parsley, salt, pepper, nutmeg and olive oil. That was all.


And as simple as the ingredients were, the flavors were complex and rich and smooth... Everything you could hope for with a side-serving of simplicity! Who said a elegant and refined foods need to be complicated or expensive!?!


Begin by making sure to remove the choke from the center and then cutting them into quarters. I popped my potatoes into a saucepan, set my seamer in top of them and popped the artichokes into the steamer... So that by the time ththe potatoes were soft and tender enough to mash, the artichokes were nicely done too! 20-25 minutes should be plenty of time for both.


Whilst the potatoes and artichokes are boiling and steaming away, I sautéed the finely diced shallot in a little olive oil until golden brown.

Once the potatoes were ready, I mashed them down, added the onion, added plenty of finely shopped mint and parsley, seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg and stirred together thoroughly.


Once the artichoke quarters were tender from steaming, I poured away all of the water and then sautéed them briefly in some olive oil with a good pinch of salt and pepper.

I then spooned the potatoes into a lightly oiled baking dish and added the artichokes decoratively. I also drizzled the olive oil remaining in the saucepan on top, to give a good flavor and lovely golden color... And then baked it in a hot oven for 20 minutes or so at 200 C until golden brown.


Trust me... The aroma of mint is indeed intoxicating and the flavors will delight you every bit as much as the appearance does too! It's a good dish all-round!


I love how the artichoke leaves separate and crisp-up and I love having the smooth, soft mashed potatoes with that scent and flavor of mint to enjoy in combination with them!

Add a sprig of mint and serve and see everyone's eyes light up... Word!


Elegant and sophisticated whilst being down-to-earth and satisfying... This is neither complicated, naughty nor over-indulgent... It's another dish that's a winner! Trust me!

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