Truly love artichokes but find I’m rarely up to the preparation challenges they present.

No more. We’ve found a recipe from Ottolenghi that cuts through all that bollox.

Ohh there’s faff, it’s an artichoke. But the beauty of roasting baby artichokes whole is that it’s the diners with the work to do, not you. Just shed the outer layer or so and nosh away, it’s banging.

1hr roughly| serves 4 as a starter | easy-ish

Ingredients

David's Place 2

2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced lengthways with a mandolin
4 fresh bay leaves
¼ tsp black peppercorns
3 tbsp olive oil
sea salt
8 baby purple artichokes, whole
100ml dry white wine
2 tbsp lemon juice
15g tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
100g creme fraiche
20g mayonnaise

Method 

Oven up to 200°C / mark 6. Put the fennel, bay, peppercorns, oil and half a teaspoon of salt in a medium, high-sided baking tray and stir to coat everything. Lay in the artichokes on their sides, slightly embedded in the fennel.

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Mix the wine with 100ml water and 1/4 tsp of salt. Pour over the artichokes and fennel, cover the tray with foil and bake for 45 minutes, turning the artichokes halfway through. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 mins so the fennel starts to colour and any remaining liquid evaporate. Lift the artichokes from the tray, then stir the lemon juice and tarragon through the fennel mix.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the creme fraiche and mayonnaise, and set aside.

Divide the warm fennel between four plates and top each with two warm artichokes. Spoon some of the creme fraiche mix on the side and serve.

Delectable.

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