This is a Lebanese dish, known as Ardichowki-bil foul wa-silk which comprises artichokes, broad beans and chard into a kind of warm salad. It can be prepared well-ahead of time – in fact it improves it – the flavours meld, fusingly, together. If you can’t find chard, spinach is a good alternative. If you can only get frozen or tinned artichokes – go here for what to do with them.
You can serve it on its own as a starter, with a little feta crumbled over it.
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped small
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed with 1 tsp smoked salt
- Small, 30g pack/about 2 tablespoons/4 full stalks chopped fresh coriander
- 750g/1 lb 10 oz frozen baby broad beans
- Juice and zest of two small lemons
- 1 tsp golden caster sugar
- 300g/10 oz swiss chard or spinach – larger stems removed, and shredded into strips
- 160g/6 oz artichoke hearts – either char-grilled from the deli or in oil in a jar. Cut them into quarters
- 10 grinds Indonesian long black pepper
- Pinch of allspice
- 240ml/1 cup boiling water
- Olive oil for frying (use the oil in the artichoke jar)
- In a wok with a lid or a largish saucepan, fry the onion until golden
- Add the garlic, coriander, broad beans, a tablespoon of lemon juice and the sugar; and continue to cook for two or three minutes
- Add the chard, cover the pan and continue to cook for another three or four minutes
- Add the artichokes, pepper and allspice
- Add the water and boil for 15 minutes
- Add the rest of the lemon juice a minute before you finish cooking
- Garnish with the lemon zest
The haunting, complex music of the band Beirut would be good to listen to as you put this warm salad together. In fact the band is American and has never been to the Lebanon (Beirut is its capital city), but the band is so named according to founder, Zach Condon, because Beirut is a city of conflict, where things collide; a good analogy he says for his music.