Preserved Baby Artichokes

Credit: Didier Loire
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Ingredients (4 people)

Brine

  • 1 white onion
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3 sprigs dried fennel
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 quarts dry white wine (2 l)
  • 2 cups white vinegar (50 cl)
  • 1 teaspoons granulated sugar

Canning

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 spring rosemary
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • black peppercorns

Instructions

Step 1: Brine

Peel the white onion and stud with cloves.

Assemble a bouquet garni using the thyme, fennel, rosemary, and a bay leaf.

Break open the garlic head to remove the cloves, crushing them and leaving them unpeeled.

Tie the black peppercorns and coriander seeds in a muslin pouch.

Pour the dry white wine and white vinegar into a large pot, and add the bouquet garni, muslin bag, coarse gray sea salt, garlic cloves and the sugar. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 3 minutes.

Step 2: Artichokes

Remove the stems of the artichokes 1 inch from the base, and remove the hard parts of the leaves. Peel the stem, like a stalk of asparagus. Discard the choke, and place the artichokes, as they are prepared, into a container of cold water acidified with ascorbic acid (1/4 teaspoon per quart of water (1 g per liter)).

Halve the artichokes lengthwise, and plunge them into the boiling brine. Cook for 6 minutes, simmering lightly. Use the tip of a knife to check their doneness. When they are al dente, remove gently with a slotted spoon, and place on a perforated stainless steel sheet pan. Remove the spices from the brine, and let cool.

Step 3: Canning

Use clean glass jars large enough to contain the artichokes, spices and olive oil. Place the artichokes in the jars horizontally, pressing them together in 7 even layers, and placing a different seasoning between each layer: start by placing 5 black peppercorns on top of the first layer, then 1 bay leaf on the next layer, 1 sprig of thyme on the following one, and so on, using up all of the seasoning.

Finish with a layer of artichokes, filling the jar to 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the top. Cover with olive oil, and seal the jar.

Keep the artichokes in the refrigerator, away from light. Allow to marinate for 3 weeks before serving.

Step 4: Plating

When ready to serve, remove the necessary quantity of artichokes from the jars, and arrange evenly on soup plates. Season with freshly ground pepper, and sprinkle with fleur de sel and some of the marinade. Serve cool, but not chilled.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits

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