I always keep a supply of jarred artichokes on hand as they are a useful store cupboard stalwart. And as a result, I am always experimenting with interesting ways of using them.
This turned out to be one of my most successful experiments to date. Prawns and lardons are natural bedfellows, and also often teamed up with avocado so no surprises there. What makes this salad unusual is the addition of the mushrooms and the walnuts, which give a sort of deep, dark, depth.
This is a ‘one pot’ salad, if you like. It has protein: the prawns, the eggs. It has carbohydrate: the croutons. And of course lots of healthy greenery.
For other ideas involving avocados follow this link.
Recipe for a surprising summer salad of avocado and artichoke hearts
For two greedy people – double quantities might do for five! Alternatively, you might be able to eke it out as a starter for six – garnish with a whole prawn.
- 3 eggs
- 1 avocado
- 1 jar (280g/10 oz) artichoke hearts in olive oil – you’ll need about ⅓ cup of the olive oil for the dressing, and some for frying
- ½ lemon – juice and zest
- Salt and pepper – or even better, instead of the pepper a pinch of wonderful, dusky-chocolate flavour Urfa pepper flakes. Follow this link for more on them.
- 100g/4 oz lardons
- 100g/4 oz frozen cooked prawns – thawed
- 1 small bag rocket – 50-60g, about 2 oz
- Furikake – sesame seeds with seaweed – go here for more on that. Toasted sesame seeds are a fine substitute – a couple of tablespoons
- ⅓ cup roughly chopped walnuts
- Walnut oil
- 4 medium-sized mushrooms
- 2 pieces of crusty bread
- 2 fat cloves of garlic
- Warm some of the olive oil from the artichoke jar in a frying pan.
- Beat the eggs and add some pepper – or, ideally some Urfa pepper flakes.
- Fry the beaten egg to make a very thin omelette – while still a little liquid slide out of the frying pan onto a large, flat chopping board.
- Add the lardons to the pan and begin to fry. Cut the garlic cloves in half, skin and all, and put into the pan.
- Cut the bread up into cubes, and add to the frying pan. Peel the mushrooms and thinly slice the stalks (minus any earthy bits), and cut the caps into quarters. Add to the frying pan.
- Add the walnuts and the prawns. Cook through. Sprinkle over a little pepper – or Urfa pepper flakes. Stir.
- Meanwhile make the dressing. Pour about 80ml/⅓ cup of the olive oil from the artichokes into a small bowl – add some from your store if you don’t have enough. Add the zest, and the juice of the lemon. Season. Add two tablespoons of walnut oil.
- Peel and slice the avocado – add any soft bits stuck to the skin to the dressing. Put the avocado into a medium-sized salad bowl. Halve the artichoke hearts, and add them too.