All About the Veg! is a new recipe column where Best of Vegan contributor Seiran Sinjari breaks down one amazing plant at a time. In today’s column, she explores the wonders of artichokes and shares her recipe for Vegan Sumac Roasted Artichokes.
Artichoke, another amazing and delicious spring produce in season now! This beautiful thistle does require some trimming and work. But don’t let that intimidate you, once you get the hang of it, you’ll look forward to not only eating it but also to the whole process of preparing these beauties. The various cooking methods typically used for artichokes are actually pretty simple; e.g. steaming, simmering, roasting or grilling.
The culinary possibilities of artichokes are endless.
The culinary possibilities are endless; turn them into creamy dips, stuff and bake them, steam them and dip the leaves and hearts in buttery dips, roast them with other veggies, add to grilled sandwiches or use as pizza toppers. Today we’re cooking them in one easy step; we’re roasting them with lots of tangy sumac. Just like lemon, sumac works wonderfully with that earthy nutty flavor of the artichoke.
Before we jump to the recipe. You really just need to know about the three different parts of the artichoke. You have the outer leaves, the fuzzy ‘choke’ in the center, which should be removed prior to cooking or before serving (unless it’s a baby artichoke, then the entire center is usually edible). And finally, the tender heart which sits right under the choke and is connected to the stem.
There are several different kinds of artichokes, today we’re using Italian Violetto artichokes but any medium sized artichoke would work for this recipe.
- 3–4 medium sized artichokes, rinsed and drained
- 1 whole head of garlic
- 1 ½ – 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp ground sumac
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 ½ lemon
- 80 g butter
- 2 tbsp salted pistachios, roughly crushed or chopped
- Preheat oven to 200C / 400F. Fill a large bowl with cold water and add juice of one lemon, set to the side.
- Prepare one artichoke at a time. Cut off stem close to the bottom and 2.5 cm / 1” of the top part, then cut in half. Use a spoon to scope out the entire fuzzy choke from the center of the artichoke, then immediately transfer to the lemon water so they don’t turn brown. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.
- Cut off the top part of head of garlic.
- Drizzle olive oil over the bottom of an oven-safe dish, add the garlic head with cut side up and artichokes (shake off water or pat dry first) with cut side down, brush the top part of the garlic head and the artichokes with oil from the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle artichokes with ½ tbsp sumac, salt & pepper and the garlic with salt & pepper. Flip the artichokes and add remaining sumac, salt and pepper to cut side, then turn cut side down again.
- Roast for 12-15 minutes, then cover and roast for another 30 minutes or until artichoke hearts are tender and you easily can pull off the leaves. If you want the cut side to get more golden brown, turn cut side up and roast for another couple of minutes.
- Melt butter over medium heat in a pan, and then remove from heat. Squeeze out the roasted garlics from the peel and add to the butter together with ½ squeezed lemon, salt and pepper. Using a fork, mash the garlic and mix well with the butter, transfer to a small dipping bowl.
- Before serving, drizzle artichokes with some of the butter (serve the rest on the side) and sprinkle them with the pistachios and some more sumac.
Find more of Seiran’s recipes at @legallyplantbased.
Recipe and photography by Seiran Sinjari.
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