Broad bean kusksu with artichokes al cartoccio, fennel sauce and pan fried Bogue fish

Here's how to make your very own kusksu containing some of the best Mediterranean flavours  

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the artichokes al cartoccio

  • 4 artichokes
  • 4 stalks parsley
  • 4 stalks mint
  • 2 heads spring garlic
  • 1 whole lemon zest
  • 150ml white wine
  • 100ml olive oil
  • Salt, to taste

For the kusksu

  • 150g Israeli couscous/ pearl couscous                    
  • Artichoke stock, to cover                                             
  • 1 spring onion                   
  • 1 onion                                
  • 2 heads spring garlic       
  • Salt, to taste
  • Olive oil, as necessary
  • 500g broad beans, in pod                            

For the fennel sauce

  • 2 large handfuls fennel fronds                  
  • 1 head spring garlic                         
  • Juice of ½ a lemon                          
  • 150ml olive oil                   
  • 2tbsp water                       
  • Salt, to taste                                      

For the Vopi/ Bogue

  • 4 filleted Vopi                                   
  • Salt, to taste
  • Olive oil, as necessary    

Method

The artichokes

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C and prepare a large piece of foil, topped with a piece of baking paper of the same size. Zest the lemon onto the baking paper and then cut in half.
  2. Fill a bowl with water and squeeze the lemon into it.
  3. Trim most of the stems of the artichokes and remove all of the outer leaves. Rinse the leaves and put them in a pot that fits them comfortably.
  4.  Cover with water and simmer on a moderate heat for half an hour until the water tastes strongly of artichokes.
  5. Feel where the leaves become tender on the artichokes and cut the hardier leaves away so that you are left with just the artichoke head. Put the artichokes in the bowl with water and lemon to stop them from discolouring, returning them to the water every time you are finished working on a section.
  6. Use a paring knife to trim away the tough outer layers of the artichoke and use a potato peeler to even it out. Split each one lengthways down the middle and with a teaspoon or paring knife remove the fuzzy choke.
  7. Place the hearts in the middle of the baking paper; pour over the oil, season with salt. Pick the parsley and mint leaves and along with the garlic roughly chop. Add this mix to the artichokes and coat.
  8. Bunch up the edges of the baking paper to form a parcel and before sealing it pour in the wine. Scrunch up the top of the baking paper to trap the moisture.
  9. Cover in the foil and seal. Place on a baking tray and place in the oven for 45 minutes or until tender.

The Kusksu

  1. Finely chop the spring onion, onion and garlic.
  2. Sweat them off in a pot with olive oil and season with salt.
  3. Once translucent add in the Israeli/ pearl couscous and coat in the mixture. Pour in enough of the artichoke stock that you prepared earlier, to cover it so that it has enough water to boil in and absorb most of.
  4.  If you do not have artichoke stock to hand you can use fish stock or regular vegetable stock.
  5. Leave to cook for around 12 minutes or until al dente. If the liquid looks like it is evaporating top up with water.  Drain and set aside.
  6. Remove the broad beans from the outer pods. Put a small pot on to boil and season liberally with salt.
  7. When boiling, add in the broad beans, leave for a minute or until a few look like they are bursting and drain. Run them under very cold water or alternatively shock in water and ice cubes. Once they are cooled to the core, remove the outer skin. Season with salt and olive oil.

The fennel sauce

  1. Combine the fronds with the garlic, oil, lemon juice and water.
  2. Use a hand held electric blender to blitz into a sauce, add salt and adjust the seasoning. Combine until smooth.
  3. Retain some of the broad beans for garnish. Mix the remaining beans with the kusksu and enough sauce to create a loose consistency.

The Vopi

  1. Put a pan on a medium heat, add in some olive oil and place the bogue fillets skin side down and cook until the lower two thirds change colour.
  2. Turn off the heat, set the pan aside and flip over the fillets.

To plate

  1. Remove the artichokes from the oven.
  2. Spoon the kusku mixture onto the base of the plate, drizzle the juice from the artichokes over.
  3.  Place 2 halves of artichokes per plate and garnish with some of the remaining broad beans.

This recipe first appeared on Gourmet Today TV, February 2019

Watch the full episode below: 

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