I love a fresh artichoke salad. I find it difficult to resist those beautiful artichoke globes during springtime. And I fondly recall plucking freshly cooked artichoke leaves one by one and scraping the soft fleshy bits with my teeth in Italy.
But if there is one thing 2020 has taught me about the kitchen, it is to embrace my pantry. And canned artichokes can be a lifesaver when there’s nothing good in the fridge. This canned artichoke salad with goat’s cheese and triple lime yoghurt makes the most of this pantry staple.
You can, of course, use fresh artichokes if they’re in season.
Ingredients & substitutes
This canned artichoke salad recipe calls for plenty of store cupboard staples and a few fresh ones (like herbs, salad leaves, cheese and yoghurt). The salad relies on the creamy acidic dressing, salty cheese and crunchy nuts to balance the flavour and provide texture.
In this section, I suggest alternative ingredients so that you can substitute to your heart’s content.
Artichoke salad ingredients
- Red onion: I love to use a baby red onion for the gorgeous purple hue. But if all you have is brown onions, go ahead and use that. You can also use a banana shallot or half a normal-sized red onion.
- White wine vinegar: Vinegar macerates the raw onion to tame the sharpness. You can also use apple cider vinegar for this.
- Artichoke hearts: I always have a jar of preserved artichoke hearts in oil lingering in my pantry cupboard, and this is what I prefer to use. But you can also use canned artichokes in brine (add an extra tablespoon of olive oil to your canned artichoke salad). Or you can, of course, use freshly cooked artichoke hearts if they’re in season.
- Olive oil: I always use extra virgin olive oil, but you can use your preferred salad dressing oil.
- Dill: The herbaceous anise taste of fresh dill works well with artichoke hearts. But if you’re not a fan (or there is no dill around), you can substitute more parsley or another soft green herb, like chives or basil.
- Flat-leaf parsley: As with the dill, you can use any soft green herb instead of flat-leaf parsley.
- Goat’s milk feta: Any crumbly, salty cheese will work well. Try cow’s milk feta if that is what you have. Or use a soft goat cheese (chèvre) instead.
- Walnuts: Goat cheese and walnuts are a great match! But you can use your favourite salad topping nuts here. Try almonds, pecans or hazelnuts.
- Salt: I grind coarse desert salt for the artichoke heart salad, which is my default kitchen salt. Then I add Maldon salt flakes to the finished salad. Use your go-to salt.
- Rocket: Rocket leaves (arugula leaves) have a distinct peppery taste that adds balance to the sweet and acidic yoghurt dressing. But if you don’t like it (or if you’re serving this salad as part of a mezze spread), go ahead and omit the rocket.
Lime yoghurt dressing
- Fresh lime: Use the juice and zest for that extra citrus spark.
- Yoghurt: I use thick Greek-style yoghurt (Greek yogurt in the US). But you can use any unflavoured, unsweetened yoghurt.
- Black lime powder: This is ground black (or dried) limes. It adds a wonderful zesty citrus punch. You can make your own black lime powder from homemade or store-bought black limes. But, sumac powder is a perfect substitute. If you don’t have either, substitute it with the zest of a second lime.
- Honey: Honey sweetens the dressing and imparts that floral honey flavour I adore. But you can substitute a different sweetener, like maple syrup, brown rice syrup or straight-up cane sugar.
- Olive oil: As mentioned above, I always use extra virgin olive oil. But if the jarred artichokes come with good-tasting oil, I use that to be less wasteful. You can use any oil you enjoy on your salads.
- Salt and black pepper: Always grind black peppercorns fresh for maximum flavour. Use any salt to taste.
Artichoke salad ingredient preparation
Preparation is key. I love to chop my ingredients, mix my dressings, rinse my chopping board and clean my counter before I start to plate food.
Macerate the red onions
I use a mandolin to cut the red onion into thin circle-shaped slices. You can also use a sharp knife to cut the onion in half and slice it into thin semicircles.
Place the sliced onion in a bowl with two tablespoons of white wine vinegar and a pinch of sea salt. Use your hands to mix everything and gently massage the onions. Set aside to macerate for about 15 minutes while you continue with the salad preparation. Maceration will remove the raw onion flavour and impart a pleasant acidity, like a quick pickle.
Make the lime yoghurt dressing
The zesty yoghurt dressing is creamy, sweet and acidic. It is everything! But most of all, it is simple to make.
Whisk together the juice and zest of one lime, half a cup of thick Greek yoghurt, two teaspoons of black lime powder (or sumac), one tablespoon of honey and two tablespoons of olive oil (or oil from the artichoke jar). And tada – a triple lime yoghurt dressing!
Add a teaspoon of water if your dressing is too thick. It should be creamy and thick yet pourable. Have a taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Gather the rest of your ingredients
Next up, gather your remaining salad ingredients.
Quarter your artichoke hearts. If you are using canned artichoke hearts in brine, mix the quartered artichokes with a tablespoon of olive oil.
Roughly chop the fresh dill and flat-leaf parsley.
Crumble the feta into a cup.
And roughly chop the walnuts.
Set everything aside until you are ready to assemble your artichoke heart salad.
How to make artichoke salad
Add the quartered artichoke hearts and the fresh herbs to a large mixing bowl. Reserve some herbs to scatter over the salad before serving.
Gently squeeze out excess vinegar from the onions. And add the macerated onions to the bowl with the artichokes and herbs.
Add most of the walnuts – reserve a few to scatter over the salad.
Take a serving platter or salad bowl and add a large handful of rocket (arugula) leaves. Then tip in the artichoke mix. And spoon over dollops of lime yoghurt dressing.
Sprinkle the artichoke salad with the crumbled goat’s feta (or your preferred salty cheese), the reserved walnuts and fresh herbs.
Finish with a final drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt flakes.
Serve any extra lime yoghurt dressing on the side.
More substitutes and recipe suggestions
No black limes? No problem!
You can make black limes at home. It is an easy and rewarding kitchen project that requires no fancy equipment.
To make the black lime powder for the zesty yoghurt dressing, smash black (dried) limes with a heavy object like a skillet, remove any seeds and blitz the limes in a spice grinder. See how to make black lime powder for more detailed instructions.
Or you can substitute sumac which brings a similar fruity acidity.
Can I use marinated artichokes?
You can use any preserved artichoke for this salad. If you have artichokes preserved in oil, you can use the preserving oil in the yoghurt dressing instead of olive oil – but only if it is a good-tasting oil.
If you have canned artichokes in brine, coat the artichokes in a tablespoon of olive oil before adding the fresh herbs.
You can, of course, also use fresh artichokes when they are in season.
Can’t find goat’s feta?
I love how goat’s feta has the funkiness of goat’s cheese as well as the saltiness of feta cheese. It works splendidly with the artichokes and lime yoghurt. But I know it may not be as readily available as other cheeses.
You can use a soft goat’s cheese (chèvre) or standard cow’s milk feta. Or substitute with your favourite salty hard cheese, like Pecorino. You do you.
Use any soft herbs you have available
A variety of soft herbs freshens the salad and boosts the mild artichoke flavour. Use whatever fresh herbs you have available.
I love the combination of chopped parsley leaves and dill fronds. But you can also use coriander or fresh mint. Or all of them!
Serve the herbed artichokes on a peppery salad leaf – rocket or watercress will work equally well.
How to serve artichoke salad
This artichoke salad is delicious side served with roast chicken or fish. It serves four people as a side, but I also happily enjoy it as a light no-cook lunch for two on a sunny day.
You can also serve artichoke salad as part of a mezze spread. Try it with
- lemony hummus without garlic,
- quick yoghurt flatbreads,
- bowls of olives and
- a Middle Eastern hot sauce like shatta or zhoug.
Artichoke Salad Recipe
- You need a spice grinder or food processor to grind the black limes into powder.
- I also use a mandolin to cut the red onion into thin circles. But a sharp knife will work just fine to slice thin semicircles.
- 1 small lime, skin zested and lime juiced
- ½ cup thick Greek yoghurt (140 grams)
- 2 teaspoons black lime powder, or sumac powder
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or oil from the artichoke jar
- salt and black pepper
- 1 baby red onion, or half a normal red onion (about 70 grams)
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 cups canned artichoke hearts, drained and quartered (about 280 grams)
- olive oil
- small handful fresh dill, roughly chopped, with some whole fronds reserved (about 10 grams)
- small handful fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped (about 10 grams)
- 1 heaped cup goat’s milk feta, or normal feta (200 grams)
- ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped (50 grams)
- large handful rocket leaves (40 grams)
- salt flakes (optional)
- Thinly slice the red onion. Mix the onions, white wine vinegar and a pinch of sea salt in a bowl. Gently massage the onions with your hands for a few seconds. Set it aside to macerate for about 15 minutes while you prepare the salad.
- To make the yoghurt dressing, add the lime zest and one tablespoon of lime juice to a bowl with the remaining dressing ingredients and whisk until well combined. Add ground sea salt and black pepper to taste and set aside until needed. The dressing should be creamy and thick yet pourable. Add a teaspoon of water if it is too thick.
- Place the quartered artichoke hearts in a large mixing bowl and add the herbs, reserving some to scatter on top. If you are using canned artichokes in brine, add a tablespoon of olive oil to coat the artichokes.
- Remove the onions from the vinegar, gently squeeze out any excess vinegar and add to the artichoke mix.
- Add most of the walnuts, reserving a few to scatter on top.
- Place the rocket (arugula) leaves in a serving bowl. Top it with the artichoke mix. And spoon over a few dollops of lime yoghurt dressing. Serve any remaining yoghurt dressing on the side.
- Crumble over the feta, and scatter the reserved walnuts and herbs. Finish with a final drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt flakes.
- To make black lime powder: Bash black limes with a heavy object such as a skillet. Discard any seeds. And place the black lime chunks in a spice grinder or food processor and blitz until fine. If you don't have black limes or the equipment to grind black limes to a powder, sumac makes a fine substitute. See how to make black limes for more information.
- See the ingredients and substitutes section if you need more ingredient details.
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