Artichoke salad with chorizo & apricot aïoli

Artichoke salad with chorizo & apricot aïoli

Chris Middleton

It’s very common to encounter a pop-up roadside barbecue in Mexico selling carne asada – a popular mixed grill-type street food – or various other braised meats. It may look weird, but don’t ask questions, just eat! The aromatic fuels from the barbecue and an array of salsas and relishes create a real street-side delicacy. The acidity of the fruit aids digestion of rich meats and the authentic spirit of Oaxaca – mescal – adds a lingering smoky, complex overtone.


Quantity Ingredient
4 authentic chorizo sausages
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
100g padrón peppers, (see Latin Larder)
smoked paprika, to taste
sea salt, to taste
6 marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
1 red onion, very thinly sliced
370g shelled broad beans, blanched, (optional)
1 large handful mint leaves
1 small handful watercress leaves
1 small handful flat-leaf parsley

Apricot aïoli

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 whole clove
125ml chardonnay vinegar
110g sugar
375ml orange juice
250g dried apricots
1 large handful sage or tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons achiote paste, (see Latin Larder)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. To make the apricot aïoli, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook the garlic with the cinnamon stick, chilli flakes and clove, until the garlic softens and the spices are fragrant. Add the vinegar and sugar and simmer until reduced to a syrup. Add the orange juice, apricots, sage and achiote paste and stir to combine. Gently simmer for 10–15 minutes to make a semi-dry compote. Remove the cinnamon stick. Transfer the compote to a food processor and blend to a smooth jam consistency. Allow to cool. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and additional vinegar, if necessary. Refrigerate until required.
  2. Preheat a barbecue, preferably one with natural fuels, to medium heat.
  3. Cut each chorizo diagonally into 6 even slices. Drizzle the chorizo with olive oil and cook on the barbecue for 2 minutes on both sides. Meanwhile, heat a medium frying pan over high heat until very hot. Quickly sauté the padrón peppers for 1 minute until they begin to collapse. Season with smoked paprika and sea salt.
  4. Add the artichoke, onion, broad beans, mint, watercress and parsley to a bowl and toss together with a little oil.
  5. To serve, spoon the apricot aïoli onto serving plates, arrange the chorizo on top and garnish with the padrón peppers and artichoke salad.

* Tips

  • This apricot aïoli is great with sliced chorizo salami or other cured meats as a simple, cold alternative. Fresh apricots can also be used for the recipe. Simply reduce the amount of orange juice to 250 ml.
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