Neil Perry's artichokes with hollandaise

Neil Perry
Neil Perry's artichokes with hollandaise
Neil Perry's artichokes with hollandaise Photo: William Meppem

Artichokes are one of my favourite vegetables; they're delicious once you prepare them thoroughly. They can be cooked or even eaten raw – simply slice thinly and add a little extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, seasoning and shaved parmesan.

Ingredients

4 artichokes

2 lemons, quartered

2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

freshly ground white pepper
 

FOR THE HOLLANDAISE

3 egg yolks

sea salt

250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1 lemon, to taste

freshly ground white pepper

Method

1. To prepare each artichoke, break off the stem and peel the outer leaves until you see the bright green, supple flesh beneath. Lay it on a board and trim about 3 centimetres from the top, and around the base of the stem.

2. Carefully hollow out the core with a teaspoon to remove the choke. Rub the inside of the lemon quarters over every surface of the artichoke to stop discolouration.

3. Place the artichokes in salted boiling water and squeeze in the remaining lemon juice. Throw the lemon quarters in the pot as well and simmer for 20 minutes, then remove the artichokes and drain.

4. To make the hollandaise, you need a bowl that sits comfortably on top of a saucepan of gently simmering water. Place egg yolks, a pinch of sea salt and 2 tablespoons of water in the bowl and whisk. Put the bowl over the water and continue whisking. Take care that the base of the bowl does not touch the water.

5. As it approaches the point of being fully cooked, the mixture will thicken by doubling or tripling in size. It's very important for the egg yolks to reach this point, otherwise the sauce will fall apart when you add the butter. Once the sauce is thick, add three or four cubes of butter, whisking until they are fully incorporated before adding the next lot of butter. Repeat until all the butter is used. Don't rush this stage, as the sauce will split if you add too much butter at any one time. Also, make sure your sauce is not getting too hot; lift the bowl off the pan every now and again if you are having trouble.

6. Once the butter is fully incorporated, remove the bowl from the heat and squeeze in the juice of ½ a lemon and add lots of freshly ground pepper. Whisk to incorporate. Check for salt and lemon, then the sauce should be perfect.

7. To serve, place each artichoke on a plate, spoon hollandaise over to cover and sprinkle with chopped parsley and freshly ground pepper.