Cooked artichokes with three vegan dips


Artichokes are not only very beautiful, but also a real culinary enrichment. In French and Italian cuisine, the buds of a thistle species are an integral part of the menu. Very popular are pickled artichokes as antipasti or on Pizza. Here I would like to share the classic French method of preparation with you: the artichokes are cooked whole and then gradually the fleshy leaves are pulled off and sucked out – together with a delicious dip or vinaigrette. Like this you can munch your way through to the bottom inside the artichoke. When the leaves get really thin, pull them off together, then cut off the “hay” underneath from the bottom. Enjoy the bottom – it is the crowning glory of the artichoke, so to speak. It tastes very tender, yet very aromatic. And of course artichokes are not only beautiful, delicious and noble, but also soooo healthy. I only say: bitter substances! The artichokes à la francaise are suitable as a starter or with a side dish like baked potatoes also as a refined, vegan main course.


Cooked artichokes with three vegan dips

For the artichokes:

  • Per person 1-2 artichokes (depending on size)
  • salt, vinegar

Cut off the stems of the artichokes with a sharp knife just behind the base of the flower. Cut or pluck off all outer leaves that are woody or damaged. Bring a large pot with plenty of water to the boil, add salt and a dash of vinegar. Place the artichokes in the boiling water and cook for about 40 minutes, depending on the size of the fruit. Cooking test: pull of one of the larger leaves – if it comes of quite easily and the fleshy part is almost soft, then the whole artichoke is cooked.

While the artichokes are cooking, you can prepare the dips:

1st dip:

Vegan Pesto from fennel green

For 4 persons

  • 100 g fresh fennel green (or carrot green)
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seed or sesame oil
  • 80 ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 80 ml vegetable broth
  • 50 g cashew nuts

Strip off the fine fennel green from the twigs and chop very very coarsely. Puree in a blender with all other ingredients except the cashews until the mixture is nice and creamy. Then add the cashews and continue to puree until the pesto has a pleasant consistency.

2th dip:

Vegan béarnaise with chives

For 4 persons

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 thyme branch
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 125 ml vegetable broth or water
  • 125 ml cold-pressed rape oil
  • 3 tbsp soy cream
  • 1 bunch of chives
  • salt, cayenne pepper

First prepare a reduction: Peel and roughly dice the onion, also roughly dice the tomato. Crush the peppercorns. Reduce onion, tomato and peppercorns with the thyme branch, vinegar and stock in a small pot by about two thirds to 75 ml, pour through a sieve. If more than 75 ml is left, reduce a little more.

Bring the reduction to the boil again, pour 3 tbsp. soy cream into a mixing or measuring cup. Mix with the blender, adding the oil little by little. Cut the chives into small rolls, stir into the sauce and season with salt and some cayenne pepper.

3th dip:

Sweet and sour chili sauce

For 4 persons

  • 200 g mild red peppers (mix in some chilies if you like it hot)
  • 200 g frozen apricot halves
  • 100 ml apple vinegar
  • 200 ml apple juice
  • 15 g salt
  • 75 g whole cane or Muscovado sugar

If necessary, remove the seeds from the peppers, then chop them coarsely. Cook all ingredients together for 30 minutes until soft. Then puree and bring to the boil again and then fill into hot rinsed glasses or bottles and close them. If you work cleanly, the sauce will keep cool and dark for a few months, keep opened glasses in the refrigerator and use them up quickly.

For your meal, put all three dips in small bowls and serve them together with the cooked artichokes. As I said, baked potatoes go well with it if it is to be a main course.


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