Karen Martini's artichoke salad with lemon and capers

Is it a dip? Is it a salad? Either way, it's delicious.
Is it a dip? Is it a salad? Either way, it's delicious. Photo: William Meppem
Difficulty
Easy
Dietary
Gluten-free

This is somewhere between a dip and a salad, so it's perfect with some pita, grilled sourdough or lavash-style crackers as a snack, perhaps with salumi – or, as a side, with grilled fish, lamb chops or roast chicken.

Ingredients

200ml extra virgin olive oil

2 x 350g tins/jars artichoke hearts in brine, drained

3 garlic cloves, finely sliced

100g cream cheese, at room temperature

50g parmesan cheese, finely grated

3 tbsp lemon juice

salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

½ small, thin-skinned lemon

3 handfuls flat-leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped (or mint leaves, torn)

2 tbsp drained capers

2 tsp dried chilli flakes or ground Aleppo pepper

150g oil-marinated sheep's feta

Method

1. Heat 50ml olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the artichokes and garlic and fry for 10 minutes, tossing frequently, until golden and caramelised.

2. Blitz half the fried artichoke (reserve the rest for garnish) and all of the fried garlic in a food processor for 2 minutes until smooth. Add the cream cheese, parmesan, lemon juice and another 50ml olive oil, season with salt and pepper and blitz until emulsified into a smooth paste (this will take about 2 minutes). Transfer to a serving platter.

3. Slice the lemon into very fine rings; a sharp serrated knife works best. Cut each ring into 8 small triangles, then drizzle with 10ml olive oil and season in a medium bowl.

4. Slice the remaining fried artichoke roughly, then add to the bowl. Add the parsley (or mint) and grind in plenty of pepper, then toss to combine.

5. Heat 40ml olive oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the capers and fry until crisp (about 2 minutes). Drain on a paper towel; they'll crisp up even further.

6. Pile the artichoke and lemon mix onto the puree on the platter, then dress with the remaining 50ml olive oil. Sprinkle over the capers and chilli, then crumble over the feta and serve with toasted pita, grilled sourdough, Turkish bread or lavash.