Zeytinyagli Enginar – Artichokes In Olive Oil

We spent the weekend in Gallipoli at my in-laws, thinking a lot about what to put up on the blog as my first entry. What unique Ottoman relish could introduce my readers to the world of Turkish food? Calling Ottoman Cuisine “Turkish” is simply inadequate as it has a diverse fountain of treasures from the Balkans, the Middle East, Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe and even China. Today, Turks are a bit conservative when it comes to food, fortunately our ancestors were not.

My mother-in-law asked me to cook the artichokes she  picked from her nephew’s garden, she said she likes the way I do it. I am a fan of several world cuisines, but Ottoman food always has a special place in my heart, that is the reason for the birth of this blog.

To make the long story short, I made artichokes in the weekend, took pictures of it on my mother-in-law’s table before my husband immersed himself into the dish and ate half of the stuff. I was quite pissed off, because they are supposed to rest for at least one night before being served. So, keep that in mind if you plan to cook artichokes, or any kind of olive oil dish for that matter, and keep your husband away from the pot as well.


Ingredients:

Artichoke hearts 4-5 of them depending on the size, fresh, frozen or canned, try to pick the largest ones.

1.5 cups of peas, fresh, frozen or canned

2 carrots, medium sized again, fresh, frozen or canned, does not really matter

3/4 cup of olive oil, always prefer virgin, extra virgin, cold pressed etc. never settle for riviera, the name sounds fancy but the taste and the goodness are not even close to virgin olive oil.

1 lemon (1.5 lemons- if your artichoke hearts are fresh from the garden)

2 cups of water (adjust if your peas and carrots are precooked)

Salt

Dill for flavor and garnish, I am not a big fan though.

If your artichokes are not peeled, remove the tough layer surrounding the heart and peel them until you reach the greenish white flesh inside. Soak them into a lemon-water mixture not to let them darken as you process the rest of the ingredients or if they will sit “naked” for a while before cooking. Prepare a wide not-so-deep steel pot with a lid. A steel pot, this one is important as somehow steel makes olive oil dishes taste even better. This applies to all olive oil dishes. Cut your carrots into small cubes, size of the peas to be precise. Line artichoke hearts and squeeze lemons into the pot. Add some salt, I would not recommend going overboard with salt, if you like your food bland then add only a pinch, if not, average person would like this dish with around a teaspoon of salt. Add carrots and peas (skip this step, if they are precooked). Add olive oil and water, then close the lid and cook on high heat for 10 minutes, then lower the heat and let it simmer for another 15-20 minutes with the lid still closed.  If other vegies are precooked then add them 5-10 minutes prior to removing from the stove. Check artichokes with the tip of a knife, if the artichokes are soft, then it’s done. Remove from the stove, let it sit for at least 12 hours, again lid closed. For serving the artichokes, place the hearts onto a plate and top them up with carrots and peas. Garnish with dill, this one’s optional. Any herb would do. Bon Appetit.

P.S. Artichokes are great as a natural liver cleanse.

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  1. […] Artichokes in olive oil (ottomancuisine.com) […]


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