Like fennel and oranges, artichokes and oranges are one of the traditional North African pairings that is so classic you've probably come across it before (even if you didn't know its provenance). I've written about it before, and I find it is one of those pairings I turn to again and again. It bridges the funny pre-spring, post-winter season, the last of the oranges, the first of the artichokes.
I learned this particular recipe in Fez, and quickly recreated it when we got home, obviously a good indicator of how much we enjoyed it the first time. Originally it was done with sweet large navel oranges, but this time I used some blood oranges intended for juicing. (Algerians take their oranges seriously, there are those for juicing, those for eating, those for cooking, etc.)
The orange here is quite sweet, but I find the bit of preserved lemon gives it just enough sharpness to prevent it from being cloying. I was trying to do a bit of research regarding the origins of this salad, if it was from a particular part of Morocco, but it seems to be rather ubiquitous. And now that you know how to prep artichokes, maybe it can be ubiquitous in your home too!
Artichokes with Oranges and Preserved Lemon
1 tablespoon butter
1 small sweet white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, sliced
5 large artichokes (or 8-10 small artichokes), prepped
4 navel oranges or 6-8 blood oranges
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 a preserved lemon, rind sliced
1. Slice one navel orange or 2 blood oranges into slices and set aside. Juice the remaining oranges until you have 1 generous cup of juice. Stir in the sugar to the juice and set aside.
2. In a pot melt the butter over medium heat. Saute the onion until soft and translucent. Add in the garlic and stir to combine. Place the artichokes in the pot, turn the heat to low and cover the pot. Let the artichokes steam in the pot for 5 minutes.
3. Add in the juice and the lemon rind. Place the orange slices over top. Cover the pot again and cook for another 15 minutes, checking the pot once or twice, until the artichokes are tender when pierced with a knife.
4. Turn the mixture into a serving dish, arranging the orange slices on top. Serve warm.