The 8 Best Artichokes Side Dishes

What are the best side dishes with artichokes? Artichokes are enhanced by dishes with tangy, savory flavors and creamy textures. Niçoise salad, salmon and cream cheese blinis, and fig and goat’s cheese puffs add depth of flavor and lightness to the meal. Risotto primavera, garlic-butter mussels, mushroom crostini, and a Mediterranean pasta salad are filling and flavorful side dishes that bring out the best in artichokes.

Take advantage of the spring harvest by preparing a delicious meal highlighting the magnificent artichoke. You can pair artichokes with these delightful and vibrant side dishes:

Niçoise Salad

Serve preserved artichoke hearts with a classic Niçoise salad for a truly French affair. This side dish is bursting with color and bold, savory flavors. Anchovies and olives enhance the umami flavor, while boiled eggs, potatoes, and green beans add substance and heartiness to the meal.

Place a bed of crunchy lettuce leaves on a serving platter. Layer with diced tomatoes, blanched green beans, boiled eggs sliced into quarters, boiled baby potatoes, thinly sliced red onion, and anchovy fillets.

To make the vinaigrette, place 3.4oz (100ml) olive oil, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 crushed garlic cloves, and ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard into a small jar. Seal and shake until well combined. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad. Season and serve immediately.

Smoked Salmon And Cream Cheese Blinis

Steamed globe artichokes are a delicacy that pairs beautifully with something light and elegant. Warm and pillowy blinis (Russian pancakes) topped with cream cheese, and slivers of smoked salmon complement crunchy and herbaceous artichokes.

For the blinis, mix one cup self-raising flour, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and a pinch of salt. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together one large egg, one tablespoon of olive oil, and one cup of low-fat milk. Fold and combine the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and mix until it forms a smooth batter.

In a large non-stick frying pan, melt some butter and fry tablespoons of the batter until bubbly and golden brown. Serve the blinis warm, with a dollop of cream cheese and thin slices of smoked salmon. Garnish with finely chopped chives and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Risotto Primavera

Artichokes are at their prime during the spring and early summer. Take full advantage of the season’s harvest by pairing them with a creamy and comforting risotto primavera. Delicate and tender spring vegetables complement the artichokes without masking their flavor.

In a large pot, sauté one bunch of chopped baby asparagus and one cup of fresh/thawed peas in melted butter. Remove from the pot and set aside. Fry one finely chopped yellow onion and two minced garlic cloves in the same pot until translucent.

Add 1½ cups Arborio rice and toast for 2 minutes. Pour in ½ cup dry white wine, stir and cook until it has completely absorbed. Reduce heat to a simmer and add a ladleful of warm liquid stock, stirring frequently. Allow the stock to absorb before adding the next ladleful. Repeat until the rice is cooked.

Turn off the heat, stir in ⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese and the cooked vegetables. Toss to combine.

Mushroom, Garlic And Ricotta Crostini

Rustic crostini with all the right toppings make a stellar artichoke side dish. Pungent garlic and earthy wild mushrooms add depth of flavor and enhance the herbaceous, nutty notes in artichokes. Creamy, lemon-infused cheese is a classic companion to this unique vegetable.

Purchase readymade crostini or make your own by coating baguette sourdough bread slices with olive oil and toast them under the grill until crisp and slightly charred. Blitz ricotta with a squeeze of lemon juice, chopped fresh thyme, salt, and pepper.

Sauté shiitake or sliced oyster mushrooms in melted butter until soft. Add finely minced garlic, salt, and black pepper. Continue to fry until fragrant.

To serve, spread a thick layer of lemon-whipped ricotta on each crostini. Top with mushroom and garlic mixture. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley, thyme, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad With Tangy Tahini Dressing

A vibrant, fresh, and tasty pasta salad makes an unbelievably simple and satisfying artichoke accompaniment. Mediterranean staples such as olives, tomatoes, basil, and feta elevate the artichoke’s earthy and nutty taste. A comforting and neutral bed of pasta brings all incredible flavors together.

To make the tahini dressing, mix ⅓ cup tahini, ⅓ cup filtered water, ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons honey, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and one minced garlic clove until thoroughly combined. Season to taste and set aside.

Place cooked and chilled penne or farfalle pasta in a large mixing bowl. Add diced tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives, crumbled feta, and finely sliced red onion. Season with red pepper flakes, salt, dry oregano, and black pepper.

Drizzle with tahini dressing and toss until everything is evenly coated. Serve the pasta on the side, or chop and add prepared artichokes directly to the pasta.

Fig, Honey, And Goat’s Cheese Puffs

These delightful, Mediterranean-inspired puffs are a dream to prepare. The baked figs and honey’s caramelized sweetness adds a wonderful contrast to nutty and bitter artichokes. Salty and tangy goat’s cheese provides a rich and creamy mouthfeel.

Use a cookie cutter to cut even-sized circles out of a sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry.  Transfer the circles to a lined baking sheet and lightly brush with a beaten egg. Top with soft goat’s cheese, fig slices, salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Bake the puffs for 15-20 minutes at 400°F (200°C) until golden brown. Drizzle with honey and garnish with extra pepper and fresh chopped herbs. Serve warm.

Grilled Lamb Chops With Dijon Mustard, Herbs And Balsamic Vinegar

Tender and juicy grilled lamb chops are excellent for a more meaty and substantial side dish. With Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, and Italian herbs, the lamb is given a delicious and succulent taste that complements the artichokes without overpowering them.

Prepare the marinade by combining two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil, one teaspoon Dijon mustard, one teaspoon honey, and one minced garlic clove. Add one tablespoon dried Italian herbs, one teaspoon paprika, a pinch of salt, and black pepper.

Place 5-6 fresh lamb chops in a Ziploc bag and add the marinade. Seal and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours.

Allow the chops to stand at room temperature for 30-60 minutes before cooking. Remove the lamb chops from the Ziploc bag and grill on medium-high heat for about 5-6 minutes on each side. Continue to grill the chops until the meat is cooked to your liking. Serve with fresh lemon juice.

Lemon And Garlic-Butter Mussels

This sophisticated yet surprisingly simple artichoke side dish features mussels smothered in a creamy lemon garlic-butter sauce. Shellfish pairs exceptionally well with artichokes, as the sweet and briny flavor profile balances the vegetable’s slightly bitter and earthy taste.

In a large pot, sauté one small, finely chopped onion and two minced garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons of melted butter until soft. Slowly add 1 cup of dry white wine and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Pour in 1 cup of fresh cream and continue to simmer for 2 minutes.

Add 1 pound (450g) half shell mussels (completely thawed if previously frozen), cover with a lid, and steam on low and steady heat for approximately 10 minutes, until cooked. Season to taste and serve immediately with the juice and zest of a lemon, fresh parsley, and crusty bread for dipping, if desired.

Best Beverage Pairings For Artichokes

Artichokes contain a plant compound called cynarin. When you eat artichokes, this naturally occurring acid inhibits the sweet taste receptors on the tongue.

When you take a drink or bite of something else, the cynarin is removed, and the sweet taste receptors are reactivated, making everything seem sweeter than usual. For this reason, it is best to pair artichokes with dry, highly-acidic wines that contain very little residual sugar, such as Pinot Grigio, Albarino, or Sauvignon Blanc.

In terms of red wine, reach for Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Italian Barbera. Brut Champagne or a dry sparkling wine makes a light and refreshing pairing for artichokes.

A glass of bittersweet Campari and soda contains citrus peel and cinnamon notes, which give artichokes a deliciously sweet and buttery taste.

Best Sauces For Artichokes

Artichokes taste fantastic when served with sauces that have a creamy texture and a tangy flavor, such as hollandaise, béarnaise, Dijonnaise, or Caesar salad dressing.

Lemon, garlic, onions, and herb-based condiments complement artichokes perfectly. Aioli, basil pesto, vinaigrette and Salsa Verde.

The artichoke itself can be transformed into a dip. This is typically a combination of canned artichoke hearts, sour cream, mayonnaise, Parmesan, and garlic.

A simple squeeze of lemon juice, melted butter, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil will enhance the artichoke’s nutty, earthy, and herbaceous qualities.