Passover and spring are both coming to a close, so take advantage of this Artichoke Confit and Fava Bean Salad recipe from Jewish Cooking for All Seasons before artichoke season is over!
Artichoke Confit and Fava Bean Salad
When spring has finally sprung, baby artichokes appear in the market, and I’m quick to grab them. One of my favorite ways to prepare them is to confit them in extra-virgin olive oil, so they absorb the fruity oil flavor and aroma. A big plus to making the confit is that the artichokes keep for up to a week, unlike traditional boiled artichokes. The fava beans can be prepared several days ahead as well, so this salad is perfect for tossing together at the last minute. I always save the extra-flavorful confit olive oil. I use it to confit other vegetables, such as cipollini onions, shallots, fingerling potatoes, garlic, and tomatoes. It’s also wonderful whisked into vinaigrettes.
MAKE AHEAD/STORAGE The artichokes can be prepared up to 1 week ahead, the favas can be prepared up to 2 days ahead, and the confit olive oil keeps for several weeks, each stored separately, covered, in the refrigerator.
FOR THE CONFIT
- 1 lemon
- 8 baby artichokes or frozen artichoke bottoms, thawed
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 medium shallot
- About 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound fresh fava beans in the shell
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 cups mixed greens
1. Make the Confit Preheat the oven to 275°F. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice into a medium bowl filled with water, and place the lemon in the water (this will keep the artichoke from discoloring).
2. Snap off the outer leaves at the base of an artichoke. Use a paring knife to trim off the green outer layer of the stem; try to leave the stem attached to the artichoke. Continue to peel off the outer layer of leaves from the artichoke using a paring knife or a vegetable peeler. Continue trimming until the inner leaves are half green and half yellow, then cut off the top half, leaving a cup-shaped artichoke. Scoop out the fuzzy choke in the center using a melon baller or small spoon. Drop the cleaned artichoke into the bowl of lemon water. Clean the remaining artichokes in the same manner.
3. Drain the artichokes and shake off any excess water. Place artichokes (or thawed artichoke bottoms, if using) in a shallow ovenproof casserole or small baking dish and add the garlic, thyme, and shallot. Pour in enough olive oil to completely cover the artichokes. Loosely cover the casserole with a piece of crumpled parchment paper, pressing it right onto the surface of the artichokes to keep them from popping out of the oil too much. Bake the artichokes until they are tender when pricked with a paring knife, about 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the artichokes, garlic, and shallot to a baking sheet to cool. Cool the olive oil.
4. Shell the fava beans. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil, and prepare a bowl of ice water with a strainer that fits inside the bowl. Cook the fava beans until tender, about 5 minutes, and drain them into the strainer. Immediately shock the favas by submerging the strainer in the ice water (see page 41 for more information on blanching and shocking vegetables). When favas have cooled completely, remove the strainer from the ice water and peel the transparent skin off the beans.
5. To make the salad, slice the artichokes in quarters and toss them with the fava beans, mint, parsley, 2 tablespoons of the reserved confit oil, the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. If desired, chop the confit garlic and shallot and toss with the artichoke mixture. Serve on salad greens, chilled or at room temperature, sprinkled with additional salt and pepper to taste. Extra confit oil can be stored in a container with a tight-fitting lid and used for vinaigrettes or for sautés.