I’m a deli addict. I can’t pass one without buying some sun-dried tomato paste, sweet chorizo, or lemony marinated anchovies. I go in for one thing, and leave with five (it doesn’t do wonders for my bank balance). But there is one item I refuse to buy—marinated artichoke hearts. Always over-priced, often indistinctive, and so simple to make at home. Really. If you didn’t already know, artichoke hearts can be bought in cans at the supermarket. Nestling amongst the canned carrots and peas, they only cost about 99p, and all of the big stores carry them. After that, all you need is some good olive oil, a lemon, a large garlic clove, and if available some fresh parsley; you could also try adding some diced fresh chilli if you like the zing. It really is that straightforward—once you’ve tried making them once, you’ll never buy the deli version again.
The hearts tend to come in a can full of salted water, so before you begin make sure you rinse them thoroughly, taking care to leave the chopped heart in tact. After that it’s simply a case of squeezing lemons, salting garlic, adding olive oil, scattering some chopped parsley and screwing the lid of the jar on tight.
Once I’ve made the jar, I like to leave them to marinate for a day or two; if I have time I might griddle a few to have with my supper. Otherwise, it’s straight out the jar onto my plate, or (more often than not) into my mouth! I never knew it was so easy to bring a taste of Italy into my kitchen.
2 can of artichoke hearts
1 cup good olive oil
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup roughly chopped flat-leafed parsley
1 large clove garlic
salt and pepper
Firstly, sterilise your jar – a medium, tall, glass jar will work. Then rinse the artichokes to wash off the excess salt. Leave to drain.
Peel the clove, squash with the side of a knife and salt. Place the salted clove at the bottom of the jar; add the fresh lemon juice and oil and mix. Gently add the chopped artichoke hearts, sprinkling with a little parsley as you go.
Tightly seal, and keep in the fridge. After 24 hours or so, you’ll have some delicious bites to enjoy straight from the jar. You can keep these in the fridge for a fortnight.