artichoke heart salad with preserved lemon and honey dressing

artichoke heart salad with preserved lemon and honey dressing
Here Comes The Sun
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
It's all right, it's all right

George Harrison
, 1969


I think I may have had an ancestor who was an Inuit or more likely a Viking, or perhaps just some kind of troglodyte who never saw the light of day. Because even with the best will in the world, total sun block cream, hats, scarves and plenty of iced water, I just can't spend too much time in the sun or it's a trip to A+E for me - just me and my minor case of sunstroke. Which is all a bit sad really.


I say sad because a few of my friends had suggested that we take a picnic to the park a few weeks ago, to watch the Wimbledon Men's Final, in front of some big screens. Since one of this bunch is both a fanatical tennis fan and Scottish to boot, it seemed a good opportunity to make some simple mezze and tapas type nibbles - the perfect finger food for a picnic in the park. And if Scotland's favourite son hadn't won Wimbledon, then we could use any spare napkins to staunch the flow of the inevitable tears.


artichoke heart salad with preserved lemon and honey dressing
Now all I have done for the past few years is complain about the English weather, particularly our summers. But then I suspect it is all part of the British psyche. "Do I need an umbrella?" people ask you. I don't know, do you? I'm not a meteorologist. But in the past few summers I would say that it has been a safe bet. But in typical British Summer fashion the past week has been an absolute belter, taking most of us by surprise since we had forgotten what real sunshine was like, which turns out is damned hot!

So last week, by 10 am I was wilting, getting in touch with my inner boiled lobster. I had to
 bow out of the picnic. Some people have angels and demons on their shoulders whispering sweet nothings. I have a Health 'n Safety elf warning me of the perils of falling in with the wrong sort of (sunlight-loving) crowd. So in the interests of self-preservation I stayed at home. Poured myself several very large glasses of chilled white wine, scarfed some delicious food at home in front of the telly and whooped myself hoarse as Andy Murray won Wimbledon.


It was a great day! I had made a salad that I had seen in The Telegraph by Diana Henry. It had caught my eye because it looked like a lovely way to use up some of my home-made preserved lemons (citron beldi). If you are not familiar with Diana Henry I would urge you to check her out, since her cookbooks are rather fabulous and she has a really lovely approach to simple home cooking.

preserved lemon and honey dressing
Diana Henry's original salad had ricotta, which I replaced with Turkish beyaz peynir (which is very similar to feta cheese). I replaced the almonds with a few ground hazelnuts. I also adapted the dressing by using sherry vinegar rather than white wine vinegar. To be honest that was an accident. It was just force of habit that had me reaching for the sherry vinegar but I don't think the dressing suffered in any way.

Adapted from Diana Henry's recipe for artichoke hearts, ricotta and almond salad with honey and preserved lemon dressing

Serves 4
Skill level: Easy

ingredients:
salad dressing
½ x home-made preserved lemon or 2 x bought preserved lemons
2 tsp juice from the jar of preserved lemons
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1½ tbsp runny honey
about 12 fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
salad
1 x jar of globe artichoke hearts (about 400g), drained and roughly chopped
200g beyaz peynir (Turkish white cheese), crumbled into chunks
30g hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 x red chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped (or more if you prefer a bit more heat!)
40g green olives, sliced
150g cherry or baby plum tomatoes, quartered
a few mint leaves, roughly torn
freshly ground black pepper

directions:


  1. Scrape out the flesh from the preserved lemons and throw it away. Finely chop the lemon skin and then mix with the rest of the dressing ingredients. Season to taste.
  2. Put the artichokes in a bowl and pour over the dressing. Leave to marinate for about 1 hour.
  3. Drain the artichokes (reserving the dressing). Toss the artichokes with the rest of the ingredients. Pour over a little of the dressing and sprinkle with torn mint leaves. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
tips:
  • Some mixed salad leaves of rocket, lambs lettuce and watercress would be perfect with this salad.
  • Replace some of the tomatoes with summer vegetables such as asparagus, cooked and skinned broad beans, peas or roasted red peppers.


3 comments:

o cozinheiro este algarve said...

What a lovely recipe.The combination of preserved lemons and honey is always a winner for me.I have a lovely recipe for pork loin cooked with new potatoes red onions with preserved lemons and honey.I think your adaptation of Feta as opposed to Ricotta is eminently preferable.

belleau kitchen said...

wow, love using preserved lemons and this dressing sounds divine... love artichokes too... so this is a win win plus it looks so summery!

Ahmedabad said...

artichoke heart salad with preserved lemon and honey dressing, what food, i just need to eat...

Thanks for nice information