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Fennel and artichoke salad with almonds and herbs

It’s been very hot here at the seaside today, which is great for the local economy, but not so much for me! I’m a total heat wuss…
So, I definitely didn’t want to have the oven or hobs on to make tomorrow’s work lunch for Alex and I!
We’ve blogged recipes using canned artichokes before, I really do like them as a salad ingredient, they’re very different from fresh artichokes but awfully tasty all the same.
Here I’ve put them with fennel steamed in the microwave (avoiding using the cooker!), almonds and herbs, with some sugar snap peas and baby corn for sweetness.
The dressing is predominantly sherry vinegar, which I haven’t used for ages, I’d forgotten how lovely it is!
For herbs, I’ve used some micro herbs that we picked up at the great greengrocers on Topping street in Blackpool, chilli cress which tastes rather like watercress, and pak choi shoots which have a mild flavour but are very pretty.
Also, dill to complement the fennel, I do find aniseed flavours feel very cooling, so are absolutely perfect for the hot weather!

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Fennel and artichoke salad with almonds and herbs

serves 2 as a meal with a bit of brown rice or quinoa, or 4 as a starter


for the salad
1 fennel bulb, sliced
1 can of artichoke hearts in brine, each one quartered (240 g drained weight)
40 g salted almonds
150 g sugar snap peas and baby corn, sliced. Substitute these for other vegetables if you like, fresh peas would be lovely, or even cooked beetroot.
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
4 tbsp micro herbs or other soft herbs. Parsley would be nice, and a bit of basil.
for the dressing
3 tbsp sherry vinegar. Or use apple cider or white wine vinegar
1 tbsp cold pressed rapeseed oil
1 tbsp liquid from steaming the fennel
salt


Steam the fennel until just tender. I did mine with a little bit of water in a vented container in the microwave. It took two bursts of 1 minute 30 seconds. Remember to save the steaming liquid for the dressing.
Cool the fennel and liquid and then make the dressing. Whisk the vinegar, oil and fennel liquid together with the salt until combined.
To assemble the salad simply toss all of the ingredients together gently with the dressing. Serve with brown rice or quinoa.


By E.

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Artichoke salad with coriander and caper dressing

People can often be a bit snobby about tinned vegetables, and there are certainly some which suffer terribly for texture (carrots and mushrooms, I’m thinking of you!), and some which take on a rather peculiar flavour… (potatoes and peas, you can’t deny it…).

But artichokes on the other hand, survive the process well, keeping their delicate flavour, and a decent texture. I actually prefer them to the type in oil, I think they’re easier to pair with other flavours.

Artichokes make a great addition to a work lunch salad, they make the whole thing feel fancier! I’ve gone for gluten free cous cous as the base (I much prefer the asda version to the tesco one), and a dressing with salty capers, bright lemon zest and fresh coriander that’s pleasingly full of flavour, but doesn’t overpower the other ingredients.

Mid salad prep, such lovely bright colours!

Mid salad prep, such lovely bright colours!

makes two large servings

for the dressing

2 tbsp chopped coriander

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp tamari

zest of half a lemon

1 tsp capers, chopped

for the vegetables

150 g broccoli, cut into bitesize florets

1/2 a large red pepper, chopped

5 cm piece of cucumber, chopped

1 tin artichoke hearts (240 g drained weight), drained and sliced

30 g salted almonds

for the cous cous

100 g gluten free cous cous

125 ml light vegetable stock, hot (or amount according to the packet)

First get the cous cous soaking. Use the hot stock and check the timings on the packet. I don’t think it needs any oil if you are mixing so many lovely things into it, but you could add a little if you like.

While the cous cous is soaking, cook the broccoli. I steamed mine in the microwave for 2 and a half minutes.

Cool the cous cous and broccoli.

To make the dressing mix all the ingredients together.

Toss the vegetables with the cous cous, and drizzle the dressing over the top.

Artichoke salad with coriander and caper dressing

Artichoke salad with coriander and caper dressing

By E.