“Artichokes were always on the table when I was growing up,” says Timothy Pakron, whose new cookbook Mississippi Vegan is out this month. “Whole, stuffed artichokes at parties or artichoke hearts dipped in butter as a special treat—my family has always adored them. This dish is inspired by one of my favorite ingredients and a salad I once had at a small Italian restaurant in Brooklyn. I knew after the first bite that it would stick with me, so I re-created it so I could enjoy it at home. The combination of pan-fried artichoke hearts, salty olives, loads of caramelized onions, and a mountain of crispy browned garlic is out of this world.”
Food & Drink
Pan-Fried Artichoke Heart Salad
Salty olives, crispy browned garlic, and loads of caramelized onions elevate this flavor-packed dish
photo: Timothy Pakron
1 7.5-ounce jar whole Castelvetrano olives, drained
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound drained whole artichoke hearts (one 33.5-ounce jar or 4 to 5 cans)
¼ cup roughly chopped garlic
1 heaping cup julienned red onions (about ½ large)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus slices for garnish
Cold-pressed olive oil, for drizzling
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh oregano leaves
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Using the flat side of a large knife, lightly press down on the olives, crushing them to reveal the pit. Discard the pits and set the olives aside.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the artichoke hearts and sear them for 12 minutes, flipping halfway through. The main goal here is to create some golden caramelization, so try not to stir them too much. If they do fall apart a bit, that’s okay. Once they are browned, reduce the heat to medium.
Add the garlic and onions. Mix well and cook until they are tender and the garlic is slightly golden brown, about 5 minutes. Fold in the crushed olives and remove from the heat.
Transfer the mixture to a large salad bowl or serving platter. Drizzle with the lemon juice and some olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with oregano and parsley leaves and lemon slices. Serve.
Tip: Castelvetrano olives are my personal favorite because of their firm texture, buttery flavor, and bright green color. If you cannot find them, you can substitute good green olives instead. You can use whatever artichoke hearts you can find, but I prefer the whole baby ones packed in water because they are the most tender.
Reprinted from Mississippi Vegan by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2018, Timothy Pakron
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