Few things are as good as a meal cooked by either of the Sussmans, Max or Eli. Long story short, go to Brooklyn, eat at Mile End and tell 'em we sent you. We liked their first cookbook, This Is A Cookbook, a whole bunch. But their second book, released this past fall, the aptly named Best Cookbook Ever, kind of is the best cookbook ever. Move over, kale, there's a new salad green in town.
Artichokes are essentially two vegetables in one. In this recipe we use the heart, which is tender with a texture somewhere between a really creamy potato and a roasted turnip. But you can also eat the bottom part of the leaves; dip them into some homemade lemon aioli or melted butter with lemon juice mixed in. Serve the leaves as a snack while you’re getting the rest of the meal ready. It’s like the Tootsie Pop of vegetables. As Lil’ Kim once said while singing about artichokes: How many leaves does it take to get to the center?
- 1 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 2 medium or 1 large artichoke
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons, or as needed
- 1 bunch rainbow chard
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- In a wide saucepan, combine 2 cups water and the vinegar and bring to a boil over high heat.
- While the water is heating, prepare the artichokes: Trim the stems to about 1 inch. Using a large serrated knife, cut off the top one-third of each artichoke. Use a paring knife to nick off any remaining sharp tips from the outer leaves.
- Add the artichokes to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook until tender all the way through, 30–45 minutes. Insert the tip of the paring knife through a stem into the heart to check. Drain and let cool. Pull the leaves off each artichoke and snack on them or save for later. Discard the furry choke, using the tip of a teaspoon to scrape it out of the hearts, and trim off any tough parts. Cut the cleaned hearts into slices. Set aside.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the olives and lemon juice and pulse to purée slightly. Add the 1/4 cup olive oil and process until smooth to make the vinaigrette. Set aside.
- Cut the stems from the chard leaves. Cut the stems into narrow strips and coarsely chop the leaves, keeping the stems and leaves separate. In a large frying pan, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chard stems and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain, reserving the oil in the pan. Return the pan to medium heat (add more oil if the pan seems dry), add the chard leaves, and cook, stirring, just until wilted, about 2 minutes. Using tongs or the slotted spoon, transfer the leaves to a bowl, reserving the oil in the pan.
- Return the pan to medium-high heat (add more oil if the pan seems dry). When the oil is hot, add the artichoke pieces in a single layer and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain briefly.
- To assemble, add the chard stems and raisins to the chard leaves, pour in the vinaigrette (you may not need all of it), and toss to coat evenly. Transfer to a platter. Scatter the artichokes over the top, add a few grinds of pepper and the lemon zest, and serve warm with any remaining dressing on the side.
Try out these vegetarian chard recipes on Food Republic: