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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Anginar (artichokes), anyone?

According to George Mardikian's cookbook, "Dinner at Omar Khayyam's", artichokes are found in the Mediterranean region as well as all around Asia Minor. He noted that Levantines (people of Greek, Armenian and Persian descent from the eastern Mediterranean region) were the most artistic at creating artichoke dishes, and that chefs in Constantinople had become such masters with the artichoke that they knew the true temperament of the artichoke.

When an anonymous reader asked for our help in acquiring a specific recipe using artichoke hearts, I was sure it would be a cinch to find. Not so.

Here’s what we did find, but if anyone has any other thoughts, we’d be most happy to share them.

The reader wrote:
“Douglas
I am trying to find a recipe for Anginar (artichokes) using the hearts, olive oil, diced peas, carrots and potatoes. Can you help?”

The recipe I found might not be exactly what they’re looking for, but with a little tweaking, it could work. It’s called “Artichokes with Olive Oil”, and came from the cookbook “Paree Josh - Good Eating: Armenian-American Recipes”, St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church, Livingston, NJ. This recipe was submitted by Knar Terzian.

Artichokes with Olive Oil
Yield: 10 servings

1 - 16 oz. can artichoke hearts (not marinated), drained
3 leeks, washed and cut into ½ inch pieces
1 - 10 oz. pkg. frozen lima beans
1/3 cup olive oil
 bunch fresh dill, chopped or 2 Tbsp. dried dill, or to taste
6 carrots, cut into cubes and steamed 5 minutes
juice of 3 lemons
tsp. flour
3 cups water
dash each of salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a 6-quart saucepan. Bring to a slow boil, stirring constantly, and then simmer over low heat for about 1 hour. Stir occasionally. Chill and serve cold.

Knar suggests serving this with Potato Kufta. Her recipe follows.

Robyn’s suggestion: Perhaps by substituting peas for the lima beans, and adding a few peeled, diced potatoes, to the carrots while steaming, this recipe might satisfy our reader.

Knar’s Potato Kufta
Serves 8-10

1 cup fine bulgur
2/3 cup water
4 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
dash salt and pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
½ fresh red pepper, finely chopped
½ cup parsley, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil or ½ stick margarine

Soak bulgur, 2/3 cup water, and tomato paste for 10 minutes.

In a skillet, saute onions and red pepper in oil or margarine until soft and golden.

To the bulgur mixture, add salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Knead as you would with dough, adding more water, a little at a time, if needed, to keep mixture together. Add potatoes and continue kneading until potatoes and bulgur stick together. Add sauteed onions and peppers and ½ of the chopped parsley.

Knead to form a smooth mixture.

Shape into small patties. Garnish with remaining chopped parsley and serve.

This can be served with Artichokes and Olive Oil for a nice Lenten meal. This can also be used as an appetizer.

12 comments:

  1. This is by no means authentically Armenian, but my mother used to make this baked artichoke side dish using the bottoms, diced carrots, peas, and potatoes. Here is how it went:

    Start with a pyrex baking dish. Coat the bottom with olive oil. Take some artichoke bottoms (plain, non-marinated) and arrange them on the dish. Fill each one with a mixture of diced carrots, peas, potatoes, and pearl onions that were tossed in a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil (my mom usually used the frozen vegetable mix or--gasp!--the canned one). Stick in the oven for a bit and, voila!

    I never much liked this dish so if you think I'm not sounding too enthusiastic, well, you're right! LOL

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  2. If you want to cook with artichokes, my favorite is to stuff them with a vegetarian rice mixture--use any recipe that works with grape leaves. Of course, you have to cut off the top third of the leaves and spoon out the choke with a grapefruit spoon first, but it is quite easy to make and looks amazingly extravagant. Be sure to use pine nuts in your stuffing mix, as they really complement the flavor of the artichokes.

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  3. Mmmm; both recipes sound good to me.
    Thanks!

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  4. how many potatoes? It's not listed.

    Thanks.

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  5. Yes... how many???

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  6. Didn't you ever hear about the measure "atch kee chop"?

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  7. For the artichoke recipe you can use 2 or 3 medium potatoes - or whatever your heart desires. In this type of recipe, measurements don't have to be exact.

    Oops, I neglected to list the potato amount for the potato kufta... the recipe calls for 4 medium potatoes. SORRY!! I'll make the correction right now. Thanks!

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  8. there is a recipe for this artichoke dish in a book called Arabesque by Claudia Roden..

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  9. My dad makes this artichoke dish, specifically what you were looking for. He cooks the frozen artichoke hearts, low and slow, with cut up red potatoes, large carrot pieces, and onions in olive oil and some butter. Make sure to add lemon juice and plenty of salt.

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  10. Hi Robyn. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I have a question: i've bought fresh lima beans, should i pre-cook them?

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    Replies
    1. I would recommend steaming the fresh Lima beans as you would the carrots in this recipe.

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