Clever Little Artichoke

In case you're wondering just where on earth a new post at The Particular Kitchen has been, I'm very sorry, and have excuses for you, if you're interested. If you're not, then skip the next paragraph. Phew, things have gotten busy the past couple of weeks! My mom's visit was a whirlwind of a week, and then we found out that our flat had been sold and we had 6 weeks to move out. That sent us right into panic mode, but luckily, the flat across the hall from ours is vacant and newly refurbished. Great success! So we are moving in there in the coming weeks. On top of that, I have officially started SCHOOL - studying and homework and papers and reading and exercises. It's all very scholarly but exciting and interesting at the same time. Nothing like the undergrad program I remember. I did mention that my posting would be less frequent, but I hope not to leave the blog hanging for as many days next time. That said, there are a few weeks coming up that may have some sparse posting - between European vacations, wedding planning activities (some very intriguing catering options!), and schoolwork - so please bear with me! All of that aside, I would like to incorporate what I am learning in my nutrition program into my posts.

So, starting now, I'll be featuring certain ingredients that are beneficial or healing foods in my recipes and telling you a bit more about them. This is a big part of what I am learning at the moment and I find it all fascinating. A bit of a disclaimer: I'm not a licensed nutritionist (yet) but am on that track and would like to pass on any information I think would be helpful to the readers!

The first healing food I'd like to draw your attention to is the artichoke. It's a beautiful vegetable, but is generally overlooked as an ingredient. However, what makes it an absolute rockstar in the healing department is its ability to clear out the kidneys and the liver - a detoxifier, if you will. It's great for digestion and has diuretic properties. Some cultures even use it to treat high cholesterol and anemia. While many enjoy eating the artichoke as a dipper, sucking the "meat" straight out of its leaves after submerging it in a buttery or mayonnaise-y sauce, I personally like the artichoke heart as an ingredient. It is a great meat substitute in vegetarian dishes containing rice or pasta. They shine through in that vegetable paella I made recently, and now this pasta dish:

Artichoke, Olive, and Lemon Spaghetti

Serves two

The particulars:

  • 200g spaghetti (gluten-free is great!)
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 1 large handful black olives, pitted
  • 2 handfuls fresh arugula
  • grated pecorino cheese
  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions in a large pot of boiling water.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the lemon zest, juice, and olive oil in a small dish and whisk with a fork. Add salt and pepper and whisk some more.
  3. Drain the cooked pasta, return it to the pot and add the lemon dressing, artichokes, and olives. Toss to combine.
  4. Serve piping hot with a handful of rocket on each plate and some grated pecorino on top.