Saturday, 8 September 2007

How to cook: Artichokes with Dill

In Greek: Anginares Me Anitho

12 md. globe artichokes
1 slice lemon
3 tbsp. flour (optional)
1/2 cup chopped scallions, whites only
1/4 cup olive or other oil
1 lemon, juice of
3 cups water
Freshly ground white pepper
2 tbsp. finely chopped dill
3 tsp. cornflour
Cold water
2 eggs
Chopped dill, for garnish

Wash artichokes well and cut off stem close to base. Have ready a bowl of cold water with the juice of 1 lemon and some lemon slices added. If desired, stir in 2-3 tbsp. flour, as this is quite effective in preventing discoloration.
As each artichoke is prepared, rub cut surfaces with a lemon slice from the bowl and place in bowl until all are prepared. Cook as soon as possible after preparation. Remove 3 or 4 layers of leaves until the tender inner leaves remain. Scoop out choke and pink thorny leaves from centre, using a spoon or melon ball scoop. Cut in half.
In a large pan gently fry spring onion in oil until soft. Add juice of 1/2 lemon, water, approximately 2 tsp. salt and a good grinding of pepper. Bring to the boil. Drain prepared artichokes and add to pan with dill. Return to a slow simmer, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes or until artichokes are tender. Stain cooking liquid into a pan and boil until reduced to half original quantity (about 1-1/2 cups). Keep artichokes hot in a slow oven.
Mix cornflour to a paste with a little cold water and stir into simmering liquid. Stir until thickened and bubbling and leave to simmer gently. Beat eggs in a mixing bowl until light and frothy and gradually add remaining lemon juice. Gradually pour in simmering stock, beating constantly. Return to pan and stir over low heat for a minute or two to cook the egg.
Pile artichokes on a warm platter, pour sauce on top and sprinkle with chopped dill. Serve as a light meal or as a first course.
Serves 4 as a light meal, 8 as a first course. Cooking time: 45-50 minutes

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