Thursday, April 24, 2014

Steamed Artichoke with Blood Orange-Almond Dressing

Serves 1 (or 2 as an appetizer)

1 artichoke (select globes with tight leaf formation that look fresh)
2 lemon slices
2 tbsp flaked raw almonds
1 blood orange (or any variety)
1 tbsp almond oil (or another nut oil)
1 tsp herbs de provance (or your favorite fresh herb)
pinch of salt
Rinse an artichoke and shake off excess water. Lay the artichoke on its side and, using knife, trim the top portion by 3cm / 1.5in to get rid of sharp ends. Using scissors, trim the top ends of the outer leaves, cutting away any dry or sharp ends. Use the lemon slices to rub the top and sides of the artichoke to prevent from browning. Bring 4cm / 2in of water to a boil in a pot and place the artichoke inside vertically, adding used lemon slices to the water. Cover with a lid and steam for 35-40 minutes, depending on artichoke’s size.
In the meantime, prepare the dressing: squeeze the orange to get about quarter cup of juice, add almond oil, spices or herbs, and salt. Whisk for few seconds to combine. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and toast almonds for couple of minutes (they’ll brown quickly so don’t walk away!).
Once the artichoke feels soft the touch, drain the water and slice artichoke in half lengthwise (or keep it intact if you prefer), pour the dressing and sprinkle toasted almonds. To eat, pull one leaf at a time and eat only bottom (soft) part, discarding the top (fibrous) part. When you get to the core, be sure to remove the fuzzy, sometimes almost sharp, center with a spoon. There you’ll discover the best part – tender, flavorful artichoke heart!

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