After Summer Sorbets, there was no hesitation on my part in choosing second helping from Lust for Leaf (Da Capo Press-Lifelong Books, June 2013) by Hot Knives Alex Brown and Evan George, a West Coast duo.
Serves 10 to 12
2 whole artichokes
1 cup pitted Manzanilla olives
1 cup Manzanilla olive brine
1 cup filtered water
2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups dried garbanzo beans (or 3 cups cooked, about 2 15-ounce cans)
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled
sea salt to taste
1. First, prep the artichokes. (This can be done only 2 hours before making hummus, but is even better the night before.) Remove the first, lowest layer of leaves and discard. Slice both chokes in half vertically, from their tip to their base. Using a paring knife and a spoon, cut out the prickly center and spoon out the fine thistles, and discard them.
2. Strain your olives over a bowl to get a cup of olives and a cup of brine. Mix your braising liquid by combining the olive brine, water, vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into your braising mix. Reserve the squeezed halves for the braise. Roughly chop the olives.
3. Place the 4 artichoke halves face down in a large, thick-bottomed pot. Add the braising liquid (it wont cover the chokes), your squeezed out lemon halves, and the chopped olives. Place this on the stove over medium heat. Once it hits a boil, lower to simmer and cook covered for about 45 minutes. Watch to make sure liquid doesn’t cook off completely. Turn off heat and let sit covered for another 30 minutes, plus a final 30 minutes uncovered to cool. (Skip the next step if you’re making right away.)
4. Put the artichoke halves into a large food-grade, zippable plastic bag and cover with the brine and olives. Push out as much air as possible and close. Stick in the fridge overnight. If cooking garbanzo beans, soak them in 4 cups water.
5. Cook soaked beans now: strain and add to a pot with 4 cups fresh water and cook on high heat until you reach a boil, then lower to simmer for about an hour or until fully cooked. Strain and cool to use.
6. Remove the artichokes from their flavor bag. Skin the outer layer of rough peel off the stem. Now make a cut at the base of the leaves to separate the artichoke heart. (Reserve the leaves and brine.) Place chopped artichoke hearts in your food processor. Combine the garbanzo beans, tahini, and lemon in the processor and pulse. Slowly drizzle the olive oil, save for the last 2 tablespoons.
7. Measure out 2/3 cup of brine. Keep pulsing and add to blender. Keep blending and add remaining brine as desired, tasting along the way.
8. Top with extra olive oil and a sprinkling of the leftover braised olives. Serve with the braised artichoke leaves.
Lost Abbey, Red Barn Ale
“This Must be the Place" Talking Heads
Are cooked dry beans better for this recipe than canned ones? Was Erasmus all about free will? Duh!
(* Recipe from 'Lust for Leaf Veggie Crowd-Pleasers to Fuel your Picnics, Potlucks and Ragers by Alex Brown and Evan George- Da Capo Press Lifelong Books, June 2013- all rights reserved)