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:
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
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
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.