Artichoke Caponata - Spring

Artichoke caponata spring baby artichokes

Artichoke Caponata
Serves 6
This is a wonderful combination of flavors and textures: savory, sweet, herby and hot. The almonds offer a gentle crunch. The true babies are hard to find they are quite small about a 1 - 1 1/2 inches wide. If you find small artichokes 2 - 2 1/2 wide you will only need about 9. Serve with a pinot blanc, a sauvignon blanc or Gewürztraminer from Alsace.

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided (3+3)
1 large red onion cut into ½ inch dice
2 tablespoons almonds, slivered and toasted
2 tablespoons currants
1 teaspoon chili flakes
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
30 baby artichokes 1 - 1 1/2 inches wide, trimmed and cut into ¼ inch slices
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
20 fresh mint leaves
1 bunch Italian parsley, coarsely chopped to yield ¼ cup
Sea salt
4 slices peasant bread, grilled

1. In a 12-inch sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Then add chili flakes, garlic, and artichokes; season with salt and sauté until artichokes are golden brown and soft, 18-20 minutes. Mix in the almonds and currants,
2. Cook the vinegar and sugar together in a small sauté pan until the sugar is dissolved and it reduces for about a minute and becomes syrupy. The bubbles will become more viscous.
3. Remove from heat and mix in the vinegar and sugar mixture, mint and parsley. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil season with sea salt and serve with grilled bread.

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Copyright © Julie Logue Riordan, Cooking with Julie