A life inspired by my grandmothers


Sweet and Sour Artichoke Salad

ImageI have an abundance of globe artichokes growing in my garden.  I have only ever eaten them by sucking on the ends of the petals(?)with butter.  A yummy experience but very messy.  On Sunday I decided to trawl through my cookbooks and see if I could find some different ways of eating them.  One book was a goldmine, The Italian Cookbook by Gabriella Rossi.  If you want pretty pictures, this book is not for you, but if you want to know about authentic italian cookery, then this is a good cookbook.

ImageI have modified the recipe somewhat, as I did not have any peas but had a lot of asparagus I wanted to use up.  I was a bit uncertain  how asparagus would go with a sweet and sour sauce, but used the logic that asparagus and broad beans go well together, so there was a good chance that it would work. I have to say that the combination was divine, and I would have asparagus in preference to peas any day.  Also the sauce was lovely and I am looking forward to trying it on other salads, cucumber springs to mind.



  • 6 small globe artichokes
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 175 g/6oz/1 cup fresh baby broad beans or shelled frozen beans
  • handfill of asparagus stems or 1 cup of peas
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • fresh mint leaves for garnish
  • For the dressing
  • 120g/4floz of white wine vinegar
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • handfull of mint leaves torn roughly


Peel out leaves of artichoke and discard.  Cut into quarters and take ot choke if there is one (thats the fluffy stuff, although if they are young there should be any.) Place in a bowl of water with the lemon juice.  Heat oil in large pan, add onions and cook till soft and translucent.  Add the drained artichokes to pan.  Pour in about 300ml/114 cups water and cook covered for 10 minutes  Add asparagus cook for 5 more minutes, add beans and peas if using.  Cook another 5 minutes.  Drain and cover and leave to cool.
To make dressing mix the ingredients in small pan, heat gently till sugar dissolves, simmer for 5 mins stirrinng occasionally.  leave to cool. To serve, drizzle the dressing over the vegetables and garnish with fresh mint leaves.