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Before starting this Artichoke Bottoms Salad with Langoustines Tails recipe, make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
Break the stem at the base of the artichokes. It is essential to break the stem, rather than cutting it with a knife, as this helps remove the fibres.
Hold the artichoke upside down. With a small sharp knife, cut the leaves one by one, rotating the artichoke in your hand.
Turn the artichoke bottom, giving it a regular, circular shape, starting from the base and moving outwards until you reach the leaves. Make sure each artichoke bottom is neatly and regularly trimmed.
Artichokes are especially prone to oxidation and the cut surfaces tend to brown very quickly. To prevent this, rub a lemon half over the surface as you cut.
Remove the remaining leaves, cutting the artichoke crossways.
Repeat the same operation with the other artichokes.
Place the artichoke bottoms in a stewpot filled with cold salted water. Add the rest of the lemon and 20 grams of flour.
Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 20 minutes over a gentle boil. When cooked, let the artichokes cool in the water.
Peel the asparagus using a peeler. Cut the asparagus base of a few centimetres.
Tie the asparagus into bundles.
You can use kitchen twine or silicone laces.
Use 2 laces per bundle so that it doesn't come apart while cooking.
Repeat the same operation with the green asparagus.
Place the asparagus bundles in boiling salted water. I recommend using a deep bain-marie pot, so the asparagus bundles can cook vertically.
Cook over a gentle boil for 15 minutes. Use the tip of a knife to check whether the asparagus are cooked.
Shell the langoustines, making sure you do not damage the tail. Separate the head from the tail. You can keep the shells in the freezer for later use (to make a sauce for instance).
Gently remove the first two rings on the tail.
Gently press the lower shell of the tail and let the meat slide out.
Repeat the same operation with the remaining tails.
In a non-stick frying pan, heat a little olive oil.
Add the shelled langoustines...
... and brown on all sides. Season with salt and Espelette pepper.
After a few minutes, take away from the heat and set aside.
Once the artichoke bottoms have cooled down, strain and remove the hairy choke. It should come off easily. We recommend using a teaspoon.
You might need to rinse the artichoke bottoms under running water to remove the last few bits of hairy choke.
Cut the bottoms into 6 or 8 pieces.
Prepare a stewpot filled with salted water and alcohol vinegar. Bring to a boil.
When the water comes to a gentle boil, pour a whole egg into the water. I recommend cracking the egg into a ramekin first, rather than cracking it directly into the water.
Poach the egg for 3 minutes.
Use a skimmer to remove the egg, then place on a paper towel.
Place some lettuce on a plate. Arrange the different ingredients harmoniously on the plate: artichokes, asparagus, langoustine tails...
... and place the warm poached egg last. Season with a homemade dressing and sprinkle with a few chives leaves.
The best way to enjoy this dish is to dip the asparagus in the egg!
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