A delicious dip with artichoke hearts and Feta cheese

The globe artichoke, also called “French artichoke” and “green artichoke,” is a perennial thistle. It is a native of the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands. The ‘vegetable’ that we eat is actually the plant's flower bud. The globe artichoke is commonly known as artichoke and should not be confused with Jerusalem or Chinese artichokes which are root vegetables.

Globe artichokes are a rich source of dietary fibre and have more antioxidants than most vegetables. Some studies show that a diet rich in flavonoids present in artichokes reduces the risk of breast cancer. They are supposed to be good for the liver and digestion. The chemicals present in artichokes can reduce nausea and vomiting, spasms and intestinal gas. Regular consumption of artichokes helps raise good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body.

Now, for a recipe.

Roasted Artichoke and Feta Dip

Ingredients

Fresh artichoke hearts (cleaned and boiled) or to save labour, canned artichokes may be used: 20 nos.

Extra virgin olive oil: 75 ml

Garlic cloves (cleaned): 2 nos.

Onion (cleaned and cut into dices): 1

Small cucumber (peeled, deseeded and diced): 1

Fresh coriander leaves (rinsed): 20 gm

Fresh green chillies (cleaned and trimmed): 2

Feta cheese: 50 gm

Lemon juice: 30 ml

Salt (to taste)

Method: Preheat the oven to 175 degree C. In a bowl, toss the artichokes, onion and garlic with some olive oil. Then arrange them on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a food processor, combine these with rest of the ingredients and pulse several times, scraping the sides every time. Continue till you get the desired consistency — chunky or smooth as per your personal preference. Serve it with crisps or vegetable crudités.

Executive Chef, Taj Coromandel