Tag Archives: Recipe

1 Ingredient: Artichoke Pate

24 Aug

One of the things that I always struggle with is what to do with the PILES of leftover ingredients that always seem to mount up in my fridge. Until the day when I wake up and think ‘I know what my life urgently needs today…LEEKS!’, I am destined for an existence of half filled bags of vegetables or bowls of mysteries covered in foil. Predictably, this week saw my fridge filled with half empty tins of artichokes, half squeezed lemons and withering tarragon. So what to do with it all? Brunch. To me, brunch is recipe in itself. Each component must compliment and enhance the other in order to create this perfect meal. Your tea must be in your favourite tea cup, coffee must be freshly brewed, reading material must be available. And at the centre of this should be a smorgasbord of delectable nibbles that can be mixed and matched to provide those tastebuds with a variety of wonderful bites…


Whether you favour sweet, flaky pastries or a platter of meats and cheeses, brunch brings a peaceful air of it’s-midday-and-I-have-nothing-to-do-but-eat, teamed with a dash of relief that you can finally use those really tiny teacups that are too small for your morning tea, but they were on sale so gosh did you just have to have them. So turn on Radio 4 (*cough* Radio 1), put the kettle on, and whip up this delicious little spread.


1/2 tin drained artichokes

Squeeze of lemon

1 tsp tarragon

1 tbsp grated parmesan

1 clove garlic

Drizzle of olive oil (or the oil from a jar of artichoke hearts if you have them)

Small bread roll (I used olive bread)


(The capers are just innocent bystanders)


1.   Put a griddle pan on high heat. Quarter the artichoke hearts, peel one of your garlic cloves and chuck it all in a food processor with a squeeze of lemon, grated parmesan and oil. Season well.


2.   Whizz up thoroughly until smooth.


3.  Cut your bread horizontally, and drizzle each side with olive oil and rub in chopped garlic. If you’re less garlickly inclined, cut a clove of garlic in half and rub the clove on the bread.


4.   Grill on each side until golden and lightly charred.


Wasn’t that easy? Now compile that heavenly board of perfection and enjoy, because it’s nearly time for lunch.




1 Ingredient: Artichokes

19 Aug

Dearest readers (?), welcome to the historic, life-changing first edition of 1 Ingredient. In this series, Phoebe and I will shine the spotlight on one specific ingredient every week by sharing both tried-and-true recipes and experimental dishes.

Through sheer alphabetical coincidence, we begin this exciting and likely very expensive adventure with my favourite edible matter from the thistle family: Artichokes.

Just look at these damn leafy flavour grenades

Just look at these damn leafy flavour grenades

This week, I made a rather delicious artichoke hummus in two versions, depending on what I had on hand. Both were tasty as fuck. This recipe is great because every ingredient goes into a food processor, and many of those ingredients can be substituted according to taste and availability. No matter how you go about it, it’s so easy you’ll finish faster than a knife fight in a phone booth.

Creamy Artichoke Hummus

Artichoke Hummus


1 can artichoke hearts or bottoms (400g can, or about 8 bottoms/6 hearts)

1 can chickpeas or other white bean (400g can)

2-4 cloves of garlic (or if you live with my family, a whopping 7 cloves)

Juice of 1 small lemon

1-2 tbsp tahini

4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tsp cayenne powder (I used 3 tsp because I love this hummus spicy)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tbsp basil leaves

salt and pepper to taste

Something awesome is about to happen

Something awesome is about to happen


1. Drain and rinse artichokes and chickpeas. I should say at this point that 1 very satisfying variation of this hummus uses butter beans instead of chickpeas.  Butter beans are creamier and have a milder flavour than chickpeas, which makes them a wonderful platform for the artichokes to stand out. That said, it tastes less like the familiar hummus we know and love.

2. Put everything in a food processor and blend to creamy perfection. Garnish with basil leaves.

3. Serve with pita bread, crackers, slather on sandwiches or quintuple the recipe and bathe in it for a while.

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