JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mount Athos artichokes with potatoes

These are FABULOUS ... really delicious, especially the leftovers straight out of the fridge for breakfast. I'm particularly pleased, because I have lots of jars of artichoke hearts, bought unthinkingly and with the optimistic idea that they will come in handy for an hors d'oeuvre - but when do I ever serve that sort of dish?

This is another recipe from The Guardian's recent little booklet of recipes from the monks of Mount Athos, apparently the longest-lived people on earth (or was it the healthiest?), although in one of my previous posts on this subject someone who has been to Mount Athos left a comment saying that they'd never had such good food in any of the monasteries they had visited ;)

Obviously I've revised the original recipe, because artichokes are not in season here at the moment ... whether this makes the recipe more or less healthy I have no idea, but it makes it fairly quick. I'll post what I did, and then give the original recipe (I've tried hard to find a link to these recipes on the Guardian/Observer website, without success).

Mount Athos artichokes with potatoes

for 3 or 4

one jar of artichoke hearts
5-6 medium potatoes
2-3 medium onions
olive oil
lemon juice

Peel and slice the onions into rings, and saute gently in a little oil in a pan big enough to take all the ingredients. You want them to be soft but not brown, and this will take 20-30 minutes. Boil the potatoes until they are nearly cooked; drain them and, when they are cool enough to handle, slice them thickly and add to the onions. Drain the oil from the artichokes, and add them to the pan with some water. Cook gently for 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until everything is hot through and much of the water has evaporated. Stir in the juice of a lemon, a good grinding of pepper, and lots of chopped parsley.

The original version
(which serves eight) uses 10 fresh artichoke hearts which you prepare yourself, dropping them into a large bowl of water acidulated with the juice of two lemons. You then add 500g of sliced potatoes to the bowl. Meanwhile, you fry 10 chopped onions in some oil. When they're soft, add the artichokes and potatoes with just enough water to cover, and simmer for half an hour. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add salt, pepper, oregano and dill. Once the liquid is mostly absorbed/evaporated, stir in lemon juice and parsley.

This version will be very useful when my artichoke plants start rampaging so that we can't keep up with them ... I prefer to cook them when they are tiny tiny, before they've developed a choke, so that you can eat them whole.

Related links

Mount Athos diet / chickpea patties
Chickpea patties from Mount Athos
Chickpea patties, an update
Chickpea mash
Nohutlu pilav
A weblog about Mount Athos


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Dang I wish I had the promise of rampaging artichoke plants!!
Sounds really excellent Joanna.

David Hall said...

Hi Joanna

I did this very recipe too! Lovely little book isn't it? Interesting reading too. Delicious simple quality food.


Anonymous said...

Hi Joanna,

My name is Shannon and I'm the editorial assistant at Following up on a recent email invitation to be a part of our newly launched Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program, I just want to reiterate that I am very impressed with the quality of your posts. I would love to send you more details about the program, so if you are interested, please email me at


Shannon Eliot
Editorial Assistant,