"You can pickle just about any vegetable or fruit and I haven't met a pickle that I don't like," says Curtis Stone. "Pickled artichokes stand out from the crowd for their soft heart, meaty stalk and slightly sweet, nutty flavour. I take these little spring pickles up a notch by very quickly barbecuing them on each side before serving, imparting a slight char." Begin this recipe a day ahead to pickle the artichokes.
- 1 lemon, halved, plus finely grated rind and juice of 1 extra lemon
- 8 globe artichokes
- 500 ml olive oil (2 cups)
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 10 thyme sprigs, plus extra 2 tsp finely chopped leaves
- 15 black peppercorns
- 5 parsley stalks
- 500 ml vegetable stock (2 cups)
- 500 ml dry white wine (2 cups)
- 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil (¼ cup)
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp juniper berries
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
- 500 ml white wine vinegar (2 cups)
- 220 gm caster sugar (1 cup)
- 1For pickling liquid, dry-roast spices in a largesaucepan over medium-high heat until fragrant (1-2 minutes), then add vinegar, sugar, 500ml water and 2 tsp sea salt and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Transfer to a non-reactive container and cool to room temperature.
- 2Squeeze halved lemon into a large bowl of cold water. Trim artichoke stems to 4cm-5cm, then peel off tough outer leaves until you reach the pale tender hearts. Trim tops, halve artichokes lengthways and scoop out hairy chokes with a teaspoon. Place chokes in acidulated water.
- 3Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add carrot, onion and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent (8-10 minutes). Drain artichokes, add to pan with thyme sprigs, black peppercorns and parsley stalks and cook for 1 minute. Add stock, wine and remaining olive oil, bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low-medium. Cover surface with a piece of baking paper and simmer until artichokes are tender (10-15 minutes). Cool to room temperature, remove artichokes from liquid, transfer to pickling liquid and refrigerate for a day. Pickled artichokes will keep for 5 days.
- 4Heat a barbecue to medium-high heat. Drain artichokes from pickling liquid. Toss artichokes with 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil and grill cut-side down until warmed through and char marks appear (1-2 minutes each side). Transfer to a bowl, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkle with thyme and rind, season to taste and serve warm.