Here’s a perfect example of an Aegean-California fusion dish, if there is such a thing. Although the Mediterranean climate is perfect for growing avocados, they are fairly new in the Aegean region. As people get more familiar with avocados, they are creatively integrating them into their local cuisine. Artichokes, however are widely used in the Mediterranean as main courses, appetizers or salads. This is a fairly easy recipe that adds the creamy texture of the avocados to the tangy delicate flavor of the artichokes. The main thing that takes time in this recipe is the avocado filling which has to be marinated at least 2-3 hours.
- 12-15 frozen artichoke bottoms
- 1 cup lemon juice, divided
- 1 clove garlic, mashed
- 1 table spoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Salt to taste
- 3-4 medium avocados
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped, or sliced
- 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 2 cups boiling water
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- Salt to taste
- Fresh dill weed for garnish, finely chopped
Fill a large bowl with tap water, add 1/2 cup lemon juice. Remove frozen artichoke bottoms from the package, place them in the lemon water, set aside to let them thaw.
To prepare the marinade sauce for the avocados, in a medium size bowl mix lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, mashed garlic, mustard, honey and salt with a whisk until it slightly thickens. Peel the avocados, remove seeds, and cut them in small cubes (about ½ inch in size). Place avocados in the sauce. Gently stir with a spoon, making sure the sauce covers the avocado pieces well. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator overnight or at least for 2-3 hours.
Cut a small slice from the bottom of each artichoke to make sure the bottoms are flat, not pointy. This is needed to properly stuff them with avocados later. In a large sauce pan, place remaining olive oil and coarsely chopped onions. Spread the onions in an even layer. Place artichokes over the onions in the pan. Sprinkle with sugar and salt. Drizzle the remaining lemon juice ½ cup) evenly over the artichokes. Lemon juice will prevent the color of artichokes from darkening. Add the hot water to the pan and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, let it simmer until artichokes are tender, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat, let it cool to room temperature. Remove artichokes from the pan and place them on a serving plate. Discard the remaining onions. Using a spoon, carefully fill the artichokes with avocados. Sprinkle chopped fresh dill over the avocados. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Bon Appetit! Afiyet Olsun!