Healing Foods: Artichoke and banana flowers Round-Up & giveaway winners

Artichokes and banana flowers? I know that one of the two might still have a mysterious aura for some of you, but after seeing the 17 recipes for this month’s Healing Food series, I am sure that you won’t resist the temptation of discovering them…

You might however wonder what the connection between artichokes and banana flowers is.

The explanation is simple: initially I had chosen artichokes as theme for this month’s Healing Foods, but shortly after the announcement, I was informed that artichokes can’t be found in India…  So, I first came with cardoon, which is from the same species than artichokes, but it turned out that it was not available in India either… Mocha or banana flowers then came to my mind. Not only do they look and taste a bit similar but they required quite some time to trim and prepare, exactly like fresh artichokes…

I am very impressed by the quality and originality of  recipes sent by 11 talented ladies for this event and I would like to thank all of them for their creativity! You are awesome, ladies – vous êtes géniales, Mesdames! Merci beaucoup!

A big thank you to  Siri to have given me the opportunity to host this event during the month of March and to Pritya books who is generously giving away these two great books:

Cooking At Home With Pedatha: Awarded Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the World 2006, this book documents the culinary legacy of an illustrious Indian grandmother for posterity.


Sukham Ayu: Winner of Best Health & Nutrition Book in the World 2009 – Second Place, this beautiful book has been researched at KARE, an idyllic Ayurvedic research & rejeuvenation establishment near Pune.

There are still many artichoke recipes that I want to share with you but I ran short of time during March, so I could only post two recipes and repost 2 old ones. My future personal challenge will be to come up with a recipe for actually sweet artichokes… so stay tuned!

Before discovering who are the lucky winners of the books, let’s discover the round-up for the month of March:

The recipes are shown in the order I received them click on the pic or hyperlink to go to the recipe:

Johanna from “Green Gourmet Giraffe”  prepared artichoke muffins that she took  for a picnic at the zoo:

The preparation of  these Banana flowers chops brought back lovely childhood memories to Sukanya from “Saffron streaks” ,:

Janet from “The Taste Space” has been experimenting with variations of her recipes. I really enjoyed reading the creative process behind these beautiful Artichoke and Spinach Rice Paper Rolls with Lemon Rosemary Baked Tofu

Priya from “Priya’s easy and tasty recipes” – first experimented with artichoke calzone :


… and she liked this veggie so much, that she got inspired for two more recipes:

a very innovative artichoke and curry leaves chutney and…

and an equally innovative artichoke, potato and mushroom curry:

Nivedita from “Panfusine – Iyer’n Chef” was happily singing ABBA’s songs  and nearly choked of delight when she first tasted her artichoke masala vadai,

Did you know that artichoke existed in the Greek Mythology? Discover what happened to the beautiful Cynara  and enjoy these  delicious artichoke lasagna sent by  Ivy from “Kopiaste … to Greek Hospitality”  :

What about an Indo-Iranian fusion dish?

Malli from “Malli’s Mint and Mimosa” loves Iranian chelow kebabs and got inspired to prepare a vegetarian version using banana blossoms : check out her Iranian black bean Kebab with mocha :

Simona from  “Briciole”  is fan of  Italian artichokes, she prepared a hummus with artichoke, check her post to see  how many strands has the beautiful home-made challah bread she served with it…

Don’t be scared of fresh baby artichokes! Amy from “Savory moments” was nicely surprised on how easy it is to clean and trim them and she prepared these  delicious lemon and thyme braised baby artichokes:

Are you tempted to cook banana flowers but you are no sure on what is the edible part and how to extract it? Fear no more, Vijitha from “A Foodie in her cooking hat” has not only sent us this Banana Flower stir fry, she is also providing a thorough explanation on how to prepare the flowers.

Nawel from “Jeux d’épices et Saveurs” is proud to share the recipe of  “Artichoke, fava beans and dry tomatoes stir fry” , which will be featured next month in a French magazine. As her recipe was in French, the translation has been provided below the picture :

Ingredients for  4 servings
1 shallot
2 cloves garlic
280 g peeled frozen fava beans
4-5 frozen artichoke hearts
130 g chickpeas
5 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
1 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp strong or mild paprika
½ bunch chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 ½  tbsp olive oil
100 ml water
Salt and pepper
Cut artichoke hearts into quarters. Cut the sun-dried tomatoes in three.
Peel the shallot and chop it finely. Peel the garlic cloves and crush them.
Heat the olive oil in a pan, on low heat and add the shallot.
Fry for 1 minute. Add the artichokes, beans, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper.
Stir and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Add the cold water, stir and add the spices.
Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 more minutes.

And finally, voilà your Sweet Artichoke’s artichoke recipes….

An artichoke and chickpeas curry, that can be eaten cold as salad, which is really great when you have left overs… (here)

… a rather unusual way of eating artichokes, as filling for these savoury hazelnut sandwich cookies (here)

and,  from Sweet Artichoke’s archives:

I had celebrated my 100th post with an artichoke tapenade, which was also my first posted recipe with artichokes!

I did not come back from our trip to Roma with designer shoes or clothes, but with fresh Roman artichokes, bought at one of the local market… delicious in these pasta ai carciofi (here)

By now, I do hope that you are feeling hungry…. and tempted by these goodies….

It is my pleasure to announce the lucky winners of the two books:

*drums rolling….*

I first prepared an alphabetical list of all participants:

Then I went on http://www.randomizer.org:

which drew number 11 and number 8.

Congratulations to Vijitha and Priya!

Please send me your contact details at:  sweetartichoke@gmail.com

Brie & Figs savoury cupcakes – Cupcakes salés aux figues et Brie

(en français, plus bas)

Here is one more savoury cupcake recipe, with a winner combination: Brie cheese, accompanied by dried and fresh figs and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar…

ingredients for 8 medium size cupcakes
2 eggs
8cl milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
85g flour
15g potato or corn starch
7g baking powder
2 pinches salt
1 / 2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
50g brie
3 dried figs (about 40g)

Optional: 1 onion, chopped
1 / 2 tbsp oil

for the topping:
50g brie
50g ricotta or cream cheese (Philadelphia)
1 fresh fig

a few drops of balsamic vinegar


Preheat the oven at 180°C.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a pan and fry the onion until golden brown. Keep aside. The onion is optional, but the cupcakes will taste so much better with it!!

Beat the eggs until the mixture starts to be fluffy. Add the oil and beat well until it starts to become like a liquid mayonnaise.

Add the milk and mix well.

Combine the flour with baking powder, salt and pepper.

Sift into the mixture.

Add the parsley, the fried onions and the chopped dried figs. Mix well.

Pour into the muffins tin tray and put a square of brie in each of them, pressing slightly so that it is immersed in the batter.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Let the cupcakes cool down.

Note: the muffins are yummy still warm, but the topping will melt…

Prepare the topping: put the Brie, pepper, balsamic vinegar and spreadcheese in a food processor and blend well.

Decorate the cupcakes with this mixture and small slice  of the fresh fig.

Cupcakes salés aux figues et Brie

Voici encore une recette de cupcakes salés! Je ne me lasse pas d’explorer les possibilités! Cette fois, le Brie rencontre des figues sèches et des figues fraîches, avec un soupçon de vinaigre balsamique… un délice!

J’envoie ces cupcakes à Tiusha, du très beau blog Saveurs Passion, à l’occasion de la figue sèche fait le tour du monde (éh oui, les figues sont voyageuses…et la voici dans les pays anglo-saxons, patrie des cupcakes!)

ingrédients pour 8 cupcakes de taille moyenne
2 oeufs
8cl lait
2 cuillères à soupe d’huile d’olive
2 cuillères à soupe de persil, finement haché
85g farine
15g fécule de pomme de terre ou maïs
7g poudre à lever
2 pincées de sel
1/2 c.à café de poivre fraîchement moulu
50g brie
3 figues sèches (40g environs)

optionel: 1 oignon, émincé
1/2 c.à soupe d’huile

pour le topping:
50g de brie
50g de ricotta ou de fromage à tartiner (Philadelphia)
1 figue fraîche

quelques gouttes de vignaigre balsamique.


Préchauffer le four à 180 ° C.

Chauffer 1 / 2 cuillère à soupe d’huile dans une poêle et faire revenir l’oignon jusqu’à ce qu’il soit bien doré. Mettre de côté. L’oignon est optionnel, mais les cupcakes seront encore plus savoureux avec!

Battre les oeufs jusqu’à ce que le mélange commence à mousser. Ajouter l’huile et bien mélanger jusqu’à ce que le mélange ressemble à de la mayonnaise liquide.

Ajouter le lait et bien mélanger.

Mélanger la farine avec la poudre à pâte, le sel et le poivre.

Tamiser dans le mélange.

Ajouter le persil, les oignons frits et les figues sèches coupées en petits morceaux. Bien mélanger.

Verser dans les moules à muffins et mettre un petit carré de brie dans chacun d’eux, en appuyant légèrement de sorte qu’il soit bien immergé dans la pâte.

Cuire au four pendant 20 minutes.

Laissez les cupcakes refroidir.

Note:ils sont délicieux encore chaud, mais le topping va fondre …

Préparez le topping: mettre le Brie, le poivre et fromage à tartiner dans un mixer et bien mélanger.

Décorer les cupcakes avec cette crème et petite tranche de figue fraîche.