It is wonderful, and not only in summer: You can indeed make it year-round, as frozen artichoke bottoms or hearts are easy to find anytime.
Artichokes: A Great Sephardi Favorite
We grew up in Morocco eating them in every shape and form, even for dessert. Someone in the food industry, bless him, has done all the pesky job of snapping the leaves off the artichokes, and the even peskier job of scraping the fuzz off the artichoke bottoms, leaving us only with exactly what we want (perfect artichoke bottoms or baby artichoke hearts) in order to sail through the preparation of quite a few artichoke-based treats. There’s nothing I don’t do with them: Soups, tajines, Hummus, risottos, side dishes, stuffed, salads, pickles, pastas, dips! My latest artichoke addition, this delightful artichoke tajine, will round out my extensive artichoke repertoire.
Hot or at Room Temperature
My artichoke tajine is as delicious hot as room temperature, and is overlaid with glorious Moroccan flavors: We love artichokes and we love fennel, olives, and preserved lemons. You will be happy to have preserved lemons, but just in case you don’t have any handy, no problem using fresh lemons.
No need to thaw the artichoke bottoms before proceeding with the artichoke tajine; if you encounter a very large artichoke bottom, place it under running warm water, and cut it in half.
Please note there is no added salt to the recipe, as the olives and preserved lemon have enough salt to season the whole dish.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced thin
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 medium head fennel, quartered, and sliced thin
- 1/2 cup pitted niçoise or calamata olives
- 1 14-ounce bag artichoke bottoms, small bottoms left whole, larger bottoms cut in half
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- good pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/2 preserved lemon, skin only, rinsed and sliced very thin (settle for a fresh lemon, sliced thin)
- 1 bunch flat parsley, minced
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and saute 3-4 minutes. Add the tomato and saute one more minute. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce the flame to medium, and cook covered about 15 minutes. Transfer all vegetables to a platter with a slotted spoon. Check the liquids in the skillet. If they are too thin, reduce them on a high flame until thickened to the consistency of maple syrup, and pour over the artichoke tajine. Serve hot or at room temperature