Gingery Artichaut Poivrade & Salmon

You’ll recall from my market treasures post that Artichaut Poivrade, a.k.a. Pepper artichoke, is a small, purplish artichoke from Provence; like other small artichokes it is deliberately pulled from the vine before it is full-grown. I’d never cooked these before but based on what I read online about their taste, I thought they’d go well with salmon. 

After eating so much French food this summer, I decided I wanted Asian flavours for this meal. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any such recipes online, so I decided to wing it – hence its inclusion in the Simply Eau-de-Vie Experimental Kitchen.  Following the prep outlined below, we ultimately cooked the salmon and artichokes in a closed foil pouch on the grill.

What follows are my cooking notes, including the recipe, my take on the outcome and what I’d do differently next time, which you can use to prepare these or any other small type of artichoke.  Spoiler alert: the prep was rather intricate, but the result was delicious!

Prep level: Easy to Moderate
Time required: 30 minutes
Serves 2 people

Ingredients
  • 2 servings salmon
  • 5 small artichokes (we used Artichaut Poivrade)
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp Sherry Vinegar
  • Pinch coriander
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Parsley (optional)
  • Thai chilli peppers (optional)
  • Salt, pepper to taste
Method
Peeled artichokes in lemon water.

Prepare the pepper artichokes.  This first step is why I labelled the recipe as Easy to Moderate.  These artichokes must be peeled to reveal their edible, tender parts.  Although it sounds complicated, I found a terrific set of step-by-step instructions on Cuisinealouest.com. The instructions are written in French, but Google translates the site into English. They also have a tutorial on YouTube, which I didn’t watch as the pictured instructions worked well. So, follow their instructions to remove the tough external parts of each artichoke to reveal its tender inside. Be sure to keep the artichokes in lemon water as you prepare them because it helps to maintain their purple colour.

Blanch the Artichokes. Once you’ve prepared the artichokes, blanch them in boiling water for 3-4 minutes.  We took advice from another site and blanched them for 2 minutes and, even after they cooked with the salmon, we felt they could’ve been softer.

Prepare the Marinade. In a small bowl, mix the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, honey, coriander, salt & pepper with the juice of ½ of a lemon. Taste, and then add 1 tsp Sherry Vinegar to taste. Adjust seasonings as needed.  Note: We did not have any Thai chilli peppers on hand that night, but I’ve included them here as they would’ve made the perfect addition to the marinade. If you choose to use them, I suggest you add them last, and slowly, and adjust the overall spiciness to your taste.

Cook the Salmon & the Artichokes. Lightly grease the foil with olive oil, and place salmon and artichokes in the centre.  Cover with cherry tomatoes, parsley and juice from ½ a lemon.  Pour marinade over all ingredients. Leaving a tent of foil above the salmon and artichokes for steaming, close the edges of the foil tightly to form a pouch. Cook at 200C directly on the grill or in the oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your salmon portions.

Serve and enjoy!

We opted to serve this dish as prepared, but, if you want to serve more food, it would also be excellent with the addition of jasmine rice or a green salad with a citrus-based dressing.