Recently I’ve found myself adapting more and more traditional Greek recipes for the slow cooker. I’m pleasantly surprised by the many options and how easily adaptable they are. However, I realize there are many people out there who don’t own slow cookers, especially here in Greece, so I’ve decided where possible to include some brief instructions for a stove top method.
A La Polita means Of The City; however in Greece when you hear “The City” it means Constantinople (Istanbul). The original version of this recipe comes from Turkey, and was made with artichokes, whole small onions (shallots) and lots of oil. Over the years it has changed a bit and now usually includes spring onions instead of shallots, potatoes, carrots and sometimes peas. It can be made plain with a bit of lemon juice, or swimming in my favourite (yes you guessed it) egg lemon sauce!
I use frozen artichokes. You can use fresh if you want to, but for me they are a MAJOR pain. Once when we were visiting the village The Mister’s dad and I went for a walk and picked loads of lovely fresh ones, so I did the whole cleaning and rubbing with lemon thing and picking/spitting out tough bits all through dinner thing. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. I can now enjoy the convenience of modern life and buy them all clean and white and ready to cook.
Usually the veggies are cooked in water, but in this case I used chicken stock to give it some extra flavour. I threw all the ingredients in the CrockPot together, but keep in mind this will give you very soft artichokes after the many hours of cooking. If you prefer them to hold a bit, you could try adding them a couple of hours after you’ve started the potatoes and carrots. I’ve not done this, so if you do please come back and let us know how it worked out!
Slow Cooker Artichokes A La Polita
What you need:
400g frozen artichokes
3 small potatoes, cut into smallish pieces
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 spring onion (or more if you like), thinly sliced (I used only the white bit)
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup water (I added this because my stock was homemade and quite thick and jellied. It may not be necessary if your stock is watery)
½ lemon (juice of)
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 sprigs of fresh dill weed, finely chopped (I forgot to buy some so I didn’t use it, but it’s nice)
For the egg lemon sauce
3 Tbs lemon juice (or more if you like it quite lemony)
What you do:
- Add potatoes, carrots and onions to the slow cooker. Mine is a 4quart.
- Add artichokes on top.
- Pour the rest of the ingredients over the top.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or until potatoes are cooked through. Stir occasionally so they cook evenly, but be careful not to crush the artichokes.
- An hour or so before the end of cooking time, take the egg out of the fridge so it comes to room temperature.
- When the veggies are ready, take a clean bowl and crack the egg in it. Add the lemon juice and whisk.
- Without turning the slow cooker off, take the insert out and place it on a heat proof surface. Carefully temper the egg mixture by taking a spoonful of sauce at a time from the slow cooker and adding it to the bowl while whisking continuously. Do this slowly and patiently so your egg doesn’t scramble. You want the mixture in the bowl to slowly warm up enough so that you can pour it into the slow cooker. When you have a good amount of sauce in the bowl and it feels nice and warm, pour it into the artichoke stew. Hold the insert with both hands and swirl it in a circling motion so that the egg mixture goes everywhere and mixes into the stew.
- Put the insert back in the slow cooker and let it warm through again (on low). I test the sauce with a food thermometer just to make sure the egg is cooked. Temp should read at least 160F.
- Enjoy with feta cheese and crusty bread.
Stove top method:
What you need (extra to above ingredients):
1/3 cup olive oil
Water (enough to almost cover veggies)
What you do:
- In a saucepan warm the oil over a medium heat and add onions. Cook gently till soft and fragrant.
- Add the carrot and potatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes stirring frequently.
- Turn the heat up to medium high and add the artichokes. Sauté for a couple more minutes.
- Add dill, lemon juice, salt & pepper, chicken stock and water until just covering the veggies. Bring to a boil.
- Turn heat down to low so that the stew is slowly simmering. Cook for about an hour, or until veggies have the desired tenderness and the sauce has reduced.
- Prepare your egg mixture and temper as above, before returning it to the heat for a few minutes.
Notes: You can omit the egg lemon sauce and use only water or veg stock instead of chicken, in order to make a vegan version. Thicken the sauce at the end of cooking (if necessary) using a corn flour slurry.
The slow cooker version is also Dukan Diet friendly (Consolidation Phase).
Other recipes using artichokes:
Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes by The Pioneer Woman
Artichoke Soup by Simply Recipes
Chicken and Artichokes in Wine Sauce by The Kitchn
Slow Cooker Shrimp and Artichoke Barley Risotto by Cara’s Cravings via Slow Cooker From Scratch recipe collection
Other traditional Greek recipes adapted for the slow cooker:
Slow Cooker Village Rooster “Kokkinisto”
Stuffed Courgettes (Zucchini) with Egg Lemon Sauce (as featured on Slow Cooker From Scratch)
Revithia from Sifnos (Traditional Chickpea Soup)
Pork Lemonato (as featured on Slow Cooker From Scratch)