Frozen artichoke hearts are perfect for outdoor entertaining in the summer. They are versatile, easy to prepare and will help you steal the Blue Ribbon for Top Salad at the county fair if you add tangy lemon and herbs.
The recipe came about after I had seen Ottolenghi’s braised artichokes recipe and wanted to make a low carb version, so I omitted the peas and freekeh and added some crisp baby spinach and a plethora of aromatic herbs, then dressed it with a tangy lemon dressing. It tastes wonderfully light and refreshing.
We served ours with fresh grilled snapper on our BBQ after a quick visit to the fish markets for an alfresco family dinner. My dad just loved it so much we had to fight him to get a forkful!.
It is also wonderful served with chicken, pork or lamb or alongside a charcuterie board to start off your next dinner party.
Fresh, canned, jarred or frozen artichoke hearts?
No matter how much I just adore fresh artichokes, they can be time-consuming and tedious to prepare.
The canned varieties are bland, tasteless and do not taste anything like an artichoke should while jarred artichokes are just too salty and briny for my taste.
Frozen artichokes make the ideal alternative, they are firm and tender and with a taste that comes very close to the fresh without all the hard work.
How to make this salad
1Prepare and sauté your frozen artichoke hearts
Wash your thawed artichoke hearts under cold water and slice into 1 cm pieces (should be just under half an inch).
Heat a heavy-based pan on medium heat, add the oil to the pan, heat the oil then add the artichokes and sauté until golden. Add the rest of the artichoke ingredients, season with salt and pepper.
Cook gently on medium heat until golden and soft (approximately 10-15 minutes). Allow them to cool slightly.
2To make the salad
While your artichokes are cooking and cooling prepare your salad ingredients.
Wash your baby spinach leaves, remove any damaged or wilted leaves, then spin in a salad spinner to remove excess water. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
Wash all your herbs, shake well to remove excess water, pat dry and chop roughly. Add to your mixing bowl.
3To assemble the salad…
Add the artichoke mix to the leaves and herbs, add 3 tablespoons olive of oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice and toss well. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste. Arrange in a salad bowl and serve immediately.
Make ahead and meal prep tips
- You can easily sauté the artichokes and keep them covered in your fridge one or two days in advance. Just take them out an hour or two to allow them to come to room temperature before making up this salad.
- Add the herbs, baby spinach, lemon and oil just before serving.
- For weekday lunches make the artichoke mix and the oil and lemon juice with the spinach and herbs on the side or on top, you can mix everything together just before eating.
- You can add additional, protein in the form of grilled chicken, halloumi or pork fillets. Some crumbled feta would also be great here.
What about the leftovers
- Store the leftovers covered in your fridge and enjoy them the next day, the spinach will be a bit soft but still tasty.
- The leftovers make a sensational addition to cooked pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese for lunch the following day.
- Alternatively, blitz the leftovers with some cream cheese and feta for a tasty dip to enjoy with crudités or pita crisps.
Some more artichoke recipes for you to try…
For the sautéed artichoke mix
- 850 grams frozen artichoke hearts (approximately 8 thawed artichoke hearts)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 large sprigs of thyme
- 1 garlic clove thinly sliced
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
For the salad
- 4 cups baby spinach (approximately 120 grams)
- 1 cup chopped mixed soft herbs (I used dill, basil, mint, parsley)
- 3 tbsps olive oil
- 2 tbsps lemon juice
- Wash your frozen artichoke hearts under cold water and slice into 1cm pieces (just under ½ inch).
- Heat a heavy-based pan on medium heat, add the oil to the pan, heat, then add the artichokes and sauté until golden then add the rest of the artichoke ingredients and season.
- Cook gently on medium heat (approximately 10-15 minutes) until soft, then allow them to cool slightly.
- In the meantime, wash and dry your spinach and herbs, roughly chop the herbs then transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Add the artichoke mix to the leaves and herbs, add 3 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tbsps lemon juice, season and toss well. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
- Arrange in a salad bowl and serve immediately.