Adapted from a Whole Spice recipe
When Jan went to Sonoma a few months ago, she bought me some Istanbul Turkish Salad Seasoning from Whole Spice. I was planning to make a typical tomato and cucumber salad with it, but in searching the Whole Spice site I found their posted recipe. Of course, I could not make it the way they did, but it gave me ideas.
When I was shopping at the Middle Eastern market I remembered my recent discovery. I found that most Middle Eastern markets carry frozen artichoke hearts. I love artichokes, but the best part, the heart, is a labor of love to prepare.
In addition to the pinpricks from the spikes on the leaf tips, for each artichoke you have to remove the leaves, choke, stem, and the fibrous outer-layer. If you are frugal, like me, you also have to boil the leaves to save the tidbits at the base of each leaf and the tender inner leaves. This leaves you with making a separate dish or a dressing with this salvage.
I have no serious objection to using frozen foods occasionally. In the factory, those tender leaves and bits probably end up in some artichoke dip, so the guilt of waste is gone. As a result, artichokes have gone from something I use only a few times a year to what can I add them to this month.
After Dinner Note: This dish worked really well and was very popular with my diners.
Karl’s Turkish Artichoke, Tomato and Cucumber Salad
1 Tbs. olive oil
3 cups frozen artichoke hearts, quartered
8 garlic cloves, sliced
½ tsp. zatar
½ preserved lemon, peel only, minced
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. lemon juice, fresh
2 tsp. Istanbul Turkish Salad Seasoning
1 tsp. water
½ tsp. sugar
½-1 lb. grape tomatoes, halved
3 Persian cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced on a bias
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
1. In a sauté pan, heat the one tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat.
2. Add the frozen artichoke hearts and two tablespoons of water. Cook the artichokes, covered, for two minutes until the water has evaporated.
Tip: The steam helps defrost the frozen artichokes and lets them cook more evenly.
3. Remove the cover and add the garlic and zatar.
4. Continue cooking, uncovered, over a medium heat for 8-9 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
5. While the artichokes are cooking, mix the dressing in a small bowl.
6. Add the dressing to the pan and gently sauté for 30 seconds.
7. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly.
8. Put the tomatoes and cucumber in a large mixing bowl and pour the artichokes and dressing over them. Toss to coat the vegetables.
9. Add the pepper and salt right before serving and transfer to a serving bowl.
10. Serve still warm or chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.