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Categories: Appetizers, Vegetarian

Steamed artichoke with egg aioli and onion-sorrel salad

Steamed artichoke with egg aioli and onion-sorrel salad
Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times

A coddled Maran egg served in its dark-chocolate-colored shell, a sunny-side-up duck egg nestled into a salad, a slowly, slowly cooked egg -- with its yolk bright and creamy and the white barely opaque and tender -- dropped into a ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes | Serves 4
Note: From chef Chris Kidder of Literati II.

Artichokes

  • 4 extra large artichokes (available at farmers markets)

Step 1Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. With a sharp knife, trim the bottom of each artichoke so that the artichoke can stand up. Using kitchen scissors, trim the tips of the leaves. Place the artichokes in the boiling water and simmer over high heat for about 15 to 20 minutes (depending on the size) or until they are tender when inserting a knife. Place in a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain well.

Step 2Clean out the choke by removing the center ring of leaves and with a spoon gently removing the small hairs attached to the heart. The artichokes may be refrigerated for up to 24 hours and reheated by boiling them for a few minutes before serving.

Aioli

  • 2 fresh eggs, divided
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup best-quality olive oil
  • 1/2 clove of garlic chopped and smashed into a paste
  • Salt

Step 1Place 1 egg in a small pot of boiling water and boil gently for 8 1/2 minutes. Cool in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes.

Step 2Peel the egg, chop into half-inch pieces and set aside.

Step 3Take the remaining egg and separate the yolk from the white, placing the yolk in a mortar (discard the white). Place the canola oil in a spouted measuring cup. With the pestle, whip a little bit of air into the yolk and with the other hand drizzle in a few drops of canola oil. Add the vinegar. Add the remaining canola oil and the olive oil while moving the pestle around until the mixture thickens. Add the garlic, chopped egg and one-fourth teaspoon salt. Chill.

Onion salad and assembly

  • 1 small to medium yellow onion
  • 12 tender leaves of sorrel (may substitute with 1/4 cup picked chervil)
  • 1 teaspoon good-quality Champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon best-quality olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel

Step 1Peel the onion and quarter it from root end to stem end. Take the quarters and separate them into groups of 4 or so sections. This will enable you to flatten the onion on the cutting board and cut it into very thin slices. Slice the onion very thinly and place the slices in a bowl of ice water. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Drain.

Step 2Cut the sorrel leaves crosswise into half-inch strips and chop the stem. In a bowl, toss the onions and sorrel and splash with the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Step 3To serve, place a warm artichoke on each plate. Sprinkle the inside of each half with fleur de sel. Divide the onion salad among the 4 plates and place a small bowl of about one --eighth to one-fourth cup aioli on the side of each.

Each serving with one-eighth cup aioli:
402 calories; 8 grams protein; 29 grams carbohydrates; 14 grams fiber; 30 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 52 mg. cholesterol; 761 mg. sodium.
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