Today’s Secret Recipe comes from Bavel, a Middle Eastern restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. Chef Ori Menashe has a technique for preserving whole baby artichokes in olive oil infused with lots of spices.
The cooked and cooled artichokes can be refrigerated in their oil in an airtight container for up to 5 days before garnishing and serving. After serving, the oil can be strained into an airtight container (discard the solids) and refrigerated for up to 1 month and used to dress salads.
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Bavel’s Herbed Confit Baby Artichokes
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- 2 large lemons
- 32 baby artichokes (3 ½ to 4 pounds)
- 2 ½ cups flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 ¼ cups mint leaves, chopped
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 3 large garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 ¾ cups extra-virgin olive oil, plus more
- 4 small radishes, very thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon dried marash pepper or red chile flakes
- Maldon sea salt
Fill a large bowl with ice water and juice 1 lemon directly into the water. Pluck off any tougher outer leaves, then trim off the top ½ inch of the artichokes and trim the stems to ½ inch. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the tough outer layer where the leaves meet the stem, then drop the artichokes into the lemon water.
Combine the parsley, cilantro, 1 cup of the mint, the onion, garlic, cumin, turmeric and ginger in a 4-quart saucepan, stir to combine, and then spread in an even layer.
Drain the artichokes well, return them to the bowl and toss with the kosher salt and a splash of olive oil to evenly coat. Arrange the artichokes, stem sides up, in an even layer on top of the herb mixture in the saucepan. They should be wedged together. Pour in 1¾ cups olive oil, adding any additional if needed to completely cover artichokes. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover and cool to room temperature, at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.
Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the artichokes and arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle some of the oil over the artichokes. Garnish with the radishes and remaining quarter cup mint, then squeeze juice from the remaining lemon over the artichokes. Sprinkle with the marash pepper and Maldon salt to taste.
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Source: LA Times
Until Next Time… Be Well!