Tulum in Melbourne’s south takes Turkish cuisine and tradition and flips it on its head for a modern dining experience.
“I love artichoke. In Istanbul and the Izmir Aegean part of Turkey, you will likely see a man on every corner peeling artichokes to put in lemon water to sell,” says Uysal. “It’s always exciting to see artichokes. Once you see them, you know summer has arrived.”
For this smoky, chilled soup (that Nigella Lawson raved about) head chef Coskun Uysal takes influence from a Greek myth about the origins of the artichoke. In the myth, Zeus is visiting his brother Poseidon when he sees a beautiful woman, Cynara, bathing at the beach. Falling instantly in love, Zeus makes her a goddess of Mount Olympus. When she becomes lonely, Cynara sneaks out of the kingdom to visit her family. A furious Zeus turfs her out of Mount Olympus and turns her into an artichoke. The scientific name for artichoke is Cynara cardunculus after this myth.
This recipe has several steps, and you'll need to start preparation a day ahead.
Artichoke and Almond Soup
Serves 4–6 people
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Cold smoked-almond soup
170g smoked almonds
250g almond milk
2 garlic cloves
Juice of 1 lemon
5g white wine vinegar
180g olive oil
In a small pot, add almond milk and smoked almonds and heat to 85°C.
Remove from heat and blitz roughly with a hand blender for a couple of minutes.
Cover the mixture and refrigerate for 24 hours to infuse.
The next day, take it from the fridge and heat again to 85°C.
Remove from heat and blend the mixture. Add the garlic, salt, lemon juice and vinegar. Continue blending, adding the olive oil slowly until the mixture emulsifies.
Keep in the fridge.
100g white grapes
100g black grapes
250g white vinegar
1 sleeve of dill
2 garlic cloves
5g white peppercorns
2 cinnamon sticks
To make the pickling juice, boil the water, vinegar, sugar, dill, garlic, peppercorns and cinnamon in a deep pan for 15 minutes, or until the sugar dissolves.
Remove from heat and place the pan into the fridge to cool completely.
When the pickling juice is completely cold, cut the grapes into thin slices. Soak them in the pickle juice for 2 hours before serving.
Olive leaf oil
250g vegetable oil
50g olive leaves
Heat the oil to 80°C. Blend the olive leaves, slowly adding the hot oil until they combine and become a green colour.
Sieve and leave to cool, then pour the oil into a squeeze bottle.
6 baby artichokes
2 sliced lemons
2 garlic cloves
1 sleeve of thyme
5 bay leaves
Cut the top third of the artichoke flower off and rub the flat end of the bulb with a wedge of lemon to prevent browning.
Pull off the outer leaves of the artichoke, until the leaves underneath look pale and soft. This is usually after about 3 or 4 layers of leaves.
Rub the base of the artichoke with lemon, where the leaves have been removed.
Cut off the stem of the artichoke so there is about 5cm left attached to the bulb.
With a vegetable peeler, peel the remaining stem until you reach the light-green core. Rub immediately with lemon.
Place the artichoke in a cold bowl of acidulated water (250ml water infused with lemon slices) and weigh the artichoke down so it is fully submerged. Repeat for all artichokes.
In a large pot with 250ml of water, add the crushed garlic, a slice of lemon, thyme and bay leaves.
Insert a steaming basket and place artichokes on top.
Cover the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Steam for 25–35 minutes, or until the outer leaves can be easily pulled off.
Remove from heat and keep the artichokes at room temperature.
Serve the soup in bowls and arrange the artichokes, grapes and oil on the surface of each serving.