Last Thursday I invited guests to late dinner and my plan was to cook something quick and impressive (and worthy to be shared here, lol). It didn’t take too long to make a choice, because I had pickled artichokes and freshly bought package of quinoa that was on sale in Tesco. I can also proudly say that this whole recipe was created by myself: it’s quinoa warm salad with pickled artichoke hearts, shallots and tomatoes. It’s really quick to cook if you already have pickled artichokes, but this quickness didn’t save me from being late as I had some urgent work to do, so I started too late and guests came when salad was cooling. And… Do you also say to your friends “wait a moment, I have to make a picture first and then we can eat?” Well, my friends are already used to it.
Artichokes were always something mysterious to me. They were either painted on my favourite classical still lifes by old Dutch masters or appeared in the recipes of famous food bloggers I follow on the Instagram. I tried them pickled on the top of pizza, but I always wanted to try them fresh. Artichokes are neither usual in my native Odessa (and I can’t understand why, the climate there is close to North Mediterranean now) nor in Bratislava. However Tesco gave me another surprise and last week I found Violetto artichokes among vegetables right under a box with rhubarb. The price was high enough, so I bought just some. Of course they were not so fresh, beautiful and fragrant as those at Italian or French farm markets, but ok, it’s still nice that I can expand my cooking horizons.
After reading my so far favourite book about food history, Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People by Linda Civitello, I became interested in New World crops. Quinoa was one of them, but the price for even a small package was so high that I always held myself from buying it with a quote “stop buying avocado on a toast if you want to afford the house “. Last visit to Tesco brought me a surprise, 250 package of quinoa for the price that I could name “still overpriced, but I can try it”. What cook from quinoa on May in Slovakia when famous May bryndza cheese is available in all stores? I have an obvious answer: just combine these 2 products in 1 dish. The result is great 🙂
Wild garlic is definitely my favourite spring herb. I can’t always wait for its season to start as а combination of wild garlic with red radishes, eggs and cucumbers just drives me crazy and taste of this salad is my personal taste of spring.