A Toasted Spring Dinner

 

 

I made this for dinner last week as I had a couple of artichokes that were on their last legs and drying out. It was really delicious and satisfying even though only a few veg on toast, and we had it with red wine. The sweet mild ricotta is a dreamy foil for punchy salsa verde and earthy artichokes. If you can’t be bothered with the faff of preparing the artichokes, then used ones from a tin or jar.

Ingredients:

3 small artichokes

a vine of cherry tomatoes

a few pine nuts (if you have some, otherwise don’t bother)

1 tub of ricotta (250g)

a loaf of good bread

garlic 

bunch of parsley

bunch of mint

anchovies

capers

olive oil

lemon juice

How to make:

Trim 3 artichokes so that most of the tough leaves are removed: cut clean across half way from the tip, cut off the outer leaves with a knife, scrape off hard skin from the base. Boil in salted water for 25 minutes or until tender. Cut in half, lengthways and scoop out the choke with a small knife or spoon. Drain and leave to cool.

Bake some ripe small tomatoes in the oven with a clove of garlic and a little olive oil on a low heat for around 30 minutes – at 150C.

Fry the artichoke hearts in a tablespoon of olive oil with coriander seeds, until they begin to go crispy, then set aside.

In the same pan, toast some pine nuts lightly.

Make a salsa verde by mixing 1 finely chopped small bunch of mint leaves and a finely chopped bunch of parsley with a few anchovies, a clove of garlic and a tablespoon of capers that have been pounded in a pestle and mortar, with 5 tablespoons of olive oil, and finally a squeeze of lemon juice added at the end, to taste.

Toast some slices of delicious bread.

Drizzle olive oil on the toast and a pinch of salt. Scoop large spoons of ricotta and put them on the toast. Arrange artichoke pieces on top, then tomatoes, and drizzle over the salsa verde and sprinkle over pine nuts.

Eaten with

A bottle of Barolo that I got for my birthday.

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