This mediterranean inspired dish makes use of fresh artichokes for an unexpected appetizer.
Gather the Ingredients
This recipe makes 6 appetizer servings. You will need: 3 large artichokes / 3 lemons / 1 clove garlic / 1/3 cup olive oil / 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves / 1 bay leaf / 2 pieces of bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces / salt and pepper / 1 dozen fava bean pods / 30-40 kalamata olives / 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped. Begin by preheating oven to 325˚. Snap off the outer dark green leaves of the artichoke. Then cut away the remaining leaves until the artichoke is about 2 inches in diameter.
Prepare the Artichokes
Cut the artichoke in half top to bottom and immediately rub with half of a lemon to prevent oxidation. Scoop out hairy part just above the heart and discard. Cut each half into 3 equal pieces. Rub with lemon. Trim top to 1.5" above the heart and the bottom 1" below the heart. Place pieces in a bowl and cover with water and juice of one lemon. Add olive oil, garlic, spices, and 3 tablespoons lemon juice to an oven-proof skillet. Drain artichoke pieces and add to pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then place in the oven to cook until lightly browned (about 45 min).
Remove the Seeds
Bring about 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add fava bean pods and cook for 4 minutes. Prepare an ice bath and have it near the pot. Place the pods immediately into the ice bath and cool for 2 minutes. Remove the pods and snip the top pulling the string down the side to reveal the seeds.
Using your fingers, carefully remove the milky light green outer shell on the seeds.
When all components have come to room temperature toss the olives, artichokes, and fava beans together. Place the mixture on a plate and drizzle with the oil reserved from roasting the artichokes. Finish off the dish with a little salt and pepper as needed and a sprinkling of finely chopped parsley.
Your guests or family will be delighted with the bright flavor and color contrasts in this dish.