>More artichokes … and tapas

>Weve had two trips over the border this month – to Andalucia, and to Navarra and the Basque country – and weve come back with lots of food ideas … and some food: cheeses from the Basque country, cured sausages, olive oils from Andalucia, red wine from Navarra and so on. Ill be writing more about all of these soon, but meanwhile weve come back to some good things too so here are some tastes from this week in Gabian.

The garden is very overgrown with weeds, so well be doing a lot of work there over the next few days, weeding and planting out tomato, pepper, aubergine and courgette plants. The artichokes are growing and I picked a couple more small ones when we got back. I used them to make a very simple dish which I ate in Figueres, Catalunya, a year or so ago: use small artichokes which do not need to have the choke removed. Cut off the outer leaves and peel the stalk, slice them downwards in thin cross-sections, about 2 mm, sprinkle them with lemon juice as you cut the slices so that they do not go brown, then sauté them in olive oil for a few minutes until the heart and stalk soften and the ends of the leaves start to crisp a bit. Arrange on a plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Its a simple but delicious tapas or first course.

We had a sage bush which had grown rather woody so this spring we pruned it back quite drastically and now there is lots of new growth. We picked some of these leaves for Lo Jardinièr to make another simple tapas dish: Wash and dry some large sage leaves. Prepare a batter using chickpea flour, salt and water, mixed to the consistency of single cream. Dip the sage leaves in the batter then fry in olive oil for a few minutes.

This morning in the market in Gabian I was thrilled to see some of this seasons fresh garlic. It looks so beautiful it almost seems a shame to eat it.

In the garden this afternoon a lizard was enjoying the heat of the sun on a terracotta sculpture.

3 thoughts on “>More artichokes … and tapas

  1. >So good, so lovely. I have never done artichokes that way or the sage leaves. Simple, delicious, home-grown food. There is nothing in all the world that can beat it! Of course, some superb French cheese, that sends your tastebuds wild and all creamy and rich, that’s something I can’t grow.

  2. >A little bit ironic that you found an artichoke dish that may tempt us in our nearest town Figueres. The Sage leaf dish we tasted in Granada and is a tasty tapas too. A few sage leaves added to any pork dish seems to marry with the meat. Our sage is covered in blue flowers at the moment and seems to enjoy a haircut now and again.

  3. >I hope you enjoy the artichokes like this, Colin and Carol! Now’s the time when there are lots of bunches of small ones for sale, if you haven’t got your own. I had them at the restaurant at the Hotel Duran and it seemed such a simple and tasty idea, having always eaten them whole (with choke removed) or quartered before.PS sorry to inspire cherry envy!

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