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The cheat: marinated artichokes

Pick them up from the deli counter or keep a jar or two in the pantry to use with pizza, pasta and meats when time's short or the season is past.

As much as we love globe artichokes here at GT, we don't always have the time or inclination to prepare them from scratch. Their season is fleeting, too, so the case for shop-bought artichokes is strong.

You can buy them as needed from the deli counter or always have a jar or two on hand in the pantry. For our money, the deli-counter option is a good one if you're after the smoky hint of the char-grill, but if you prefer a little more piquancy, the bottled version is a better bet. Drain the artichokes from the vinegary marinade and, if you like a more subtle flavour, give them a quick rinse. Canned artichokes are available, too, but we find they're usually mushy and lack flavour.

Whether you opt for char-grilled or marinated - the recipes here suit either - artichokes are very versatile. For an easy midweek meal, toss them through warm pasta with plenty of garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, grated parmesan and a handful of olives, or scatter them into a frittata with dollops of goat's curd and wilted spinach.

Artichoke and mozzarella pizza bianca
Makes 2
Preheat oven to 250C. Combine 225gm pizza flour, 4gm dried yeast (about ½ sachet) and 1 tsp sea salt in a bowl, then form a well in the centre. Add 170ml lukewarm water and 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil and mix to a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (4-5 minutes). Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and stand until doubled in size. Halve dough, roll out each half on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick and place on pizza trays lined with baking paper. Combine 2½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, ½ garlic clove, thinly sliced, and ½ small red chilli, thinly sliced, in a jug; season to taste. Drizzle a little oil mixture over pizza bases, top each with 4 artichoke quarters. Coarsely tear 1 buffalo mozzarella (about 250gm), scatter over pizzas and bake until crisp and golden (8-10 minutes). Serve hot, drizzled with extra garlic oil and scattered with oregano.

Roast fish with artichoke, lemon and parsley
Serves 4
Preheat oven to 220C. Place 4x150gm skinless firm-fleshed white fish fillets on an oven tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with a little olive oil, season to taste and roast until just cooked through (6-8 minutes). Gently heat 80ml olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add 4 coarsely chopped artichoke halves and 1 finely chopped garlic clove and toss occasionally until warmed through and fragrant. Add a handful of coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley and finely grated rind and juice of ½ lemon, season to taste and toss to combine. Serve on the roast fish along with some steamed green beans or broccolini.

Artichoke and ricotta crostini
Serves 4-6 as a snack
Drizzle 6 slices of sourdough bread with extra-virgin olive oil and char-grill or toast under a hot grill (1-2 minutes each side). Rub with the cut side of 1 garlic clove, spread thickly with firm ricotta and top with char-grilled artichoke halves. Squeeze lemon juice over to taste, scatter with a handful of coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, season to taste and serve drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.

Warm potato and artichoke salad
Serves 4 as a side
Preheat oven to 200C. Cut 800gm scrubbed Jersey cream potatoes into wedges, place in a roasting pan with 2½ tbsp olive oil, season to taste and toss to combine. Roast, shaking pan occasionally, until tender and golden (20-25 minutes), adding 8 artichoke quarters to the pan in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Meanwhile, whisk 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp mayonnaise and 1 tbsp red wine vinegar in a bowl to combine, drizzle over potato mixture, add a handful of coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, season to taste and toss to combine. Serve warm.

Hot tip
+ For an excellent dip when unexpected guests arrive, blitz artichokes in a food processor with garlic, olive oil, lemon rind and juice, and a dollop of crème fraîche. Serve with warmed flatbread for dipping.


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