Globe artichoke and potato bake
( SERVES 4 )
While globe artichokes are in season, I make the most of them; they are easier to prepare than you expect. If you are unable to buy them fresh, use preserved globe artichokes in oil from the supermarket. They are not as expensive as you might think - but be warned, they can be seriously addictive.
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Prepare the artichokes by trimming the stems and pulling off the tough outer leaves until you reach the soft inner yellow leaves.
- Cut the top 2cm off the artichoke, cut in half lengthwise and remove the hairy "choke".
- Slice the lemon in half and rub the cut surfaces of the artichokes liberally with lemon juice. You will need to work quickly as artichokes soon oxidise.
- Place the artichokes in a saucepan of cold water with lemon juice, the squeezed lemon halves and a good pinch of salt.
- Bring to a simmer, cook for 6-8 minutes then drain and cut into thick slices.
- Finely slice the onions and peel then crush the garlic cloves. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and garlic until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
- Season with salt and a touch of black pepper. Add the thyme stalks and remove from the heat.
- Brush an ovenproof gratin dish with oil. Using a coarse brush, scrub the potatoes under cold running water then slice as thinly as possible.
- Place a layer of potatoes in the bottom of the dish, overlapping the slices slightly. Scatter some of the onion and artichoke mixture over the top.
- Cover with another layer of potatoes and repeat the process until everything is used, ending with a layer of potatoes.
- Pour the vegetable stock over the top, cover with tinfoil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil.
- Pour over the cream or soy milk, return the dish to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes until the top is golden brown, the potatoes crunchy and the sauce bubbling gently.