Poached eggs on artichoke bottoms in a sage pesto

August 19, 2010  •  Category:


The French have an expression avoir un coeur d’artichaud (referring to someone with  a fickle heart); why do I think of it whenever I think of using artichoke bottoms?

Heat index over 100F in Beirut, humidity at 80%, not the time to be planning heavy meals. Artichoke bottoms are widely available frozen (check middle-eastern grocers in your area) as well as fava beans if the thought of prepping artichokes and beans is not high on your list.

Poach eggs ahead of time; boil or steam the artichokes, fava beans and potatoes; prepare the sage pesto and you have got yourself a light  luncheon very suitable for sultry weather.

For the sage pesto and dressing:

  • one dozen leaves of fresh sage
  • 2 cloves (or more, to taste) of garlic, mashed in a mortar with a pinch of salt
  • olive oil and flavorless vegetable oil as needed
  • juice of one large lemon or rice or white wine vinegar (half the volume as the oil or less, to taste)


  1. Mash the garlic with salt in a mortar; place in a blender with the sage, lemon juice and oil; process continuously till emulsified; taste and adjust seasoning.

For the vegetables and eggs:

  1. Poach the eggs by dropping them delicately in simmering water (to which you can add a half-teaspoon of white vinegar); remove from the water when the whites have set in about one or two minutes. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.
  2. Boil the fava beans for 3 minutes and peel; set aside. Boil the artichoke bottoms.
  3. Boil the potatoes cubed (or steam); set aside.
  4. When ready to eat the salad, assemble by placing the eggs on each artichoke bottom, cutting the edges with scissors if you wish and place the cubed potatoes in the middle, along with the fava beans; sprinkle some olives on top. Dress the salad with the sage dressing. Sprinkle olives on top. Crack some black pepper on your meal, if you wish.


26 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. deana says:

    What beautiful eggs you have my dear!!! Great to tuck them into artichoke hearts and good for you too. I love artichokes and potatoes together… so delicious.

  2. Suman Singh says:

    You will not believe I have never poached an egg yet..they look awesome..liked the complete dish..looks appetizing.

  3. Mimi says:

    What a tasty little treat, so perfect for hot weather.

  4. elra says:

    Yummy and tempting as always 🙂

  5. elra says:

    do you have Jachnoon recipe? I know I can by it in Middle Eastern store in my area, but I really want to make it from scratch. No pressure though, whenever you have the time.

    Btw, thanks so much for the kibbeh recipe. My whole family love it 🙂

  6. Stevie says:

    This dish looks wonderful! I suspect that it’s a bit time-consuming preparing the vegetables though it looks obviously worth it. I’ve always struggled with poaching eggs but yours turned out perfectly well it seems. You’re amazing!

  7. Priya says:

    Wonderful looking dish, yummmm!!

  8. Faith says:

    As always, you are a true artist, Joumana! I bet the taste of this is as wonderful as the gorgeous presentation.

  9. Katie @Cozydelicious says:

    Oooh, the sage pesto sounds aweome! Frozen artichoke herats are one of my favorite short cuts. And I love this whole meal – such a perfect summer lunch.

  10. Devaki says:

    Dear Joumana – There is never a day that I read your post and I do not sigh – The conbination of flavors is so unique, so you that you leave me speechless. Marvelous use of artichoke bottoms (which intimidate me) and poached eggs which make me swoon.

    Fantastic with the sage pesto!

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  11. tobias cooks! says:

    I love the thought of a sage pesto. It surely goes well with the artichoke.

  12. 5 Star Foodie says:

    The poached eggs look so pretty in the artichoke bottoms! So delicious with sage pesto too!

  13. grace says:

    what a great use for artichokes!

  14. FOODESSA says:

    A funny thing Joumana…about two weeks ago my grocer was selling small frozen bags of artichoke hearts. I figured, better buy them and think what to do with them later. This idea is just wonderful ;o)

    Ciao for now,

  15. Katerina says:

    I am sure it is not a coincidence. We use the same expression as the French for the same purpose. It is hot here too. I love the different flavors in your dish.

  16. heguiberto says:

    This sage pesto must add that delicious Mediterranean garrigue aroma and flavor to the dish. Speaking of garrigue this weekend we went over to Napa with friends from out of town. On the way back we stopped by the Marin headlands just off Golden Gate Bridge. The cool wind blowing from the sea brings the scent of wild herbs and shrubs growing in the cliffs such as thyme, yarrow, rosemary,lavender, sage…. amazing aromas.

  17. Stella says:

    Hi Joumana, these sound delicious! I think I remember you mentioning frozen artichoke bottoms in another post. I need to look for those next time I go to the international or Arabic products grocer. If I can remember;)
    Ooh, I need to look at that drink below!

  18. Bria @ WestofPersia says:

    I almost feel like you wrote this recipe just for me–it’s full of so many of my favorite ingredients. Sage pesto is a great idea. The eggs look perfectly poached to that awesome over medium stage. My love affair with artichokes and favas continues. Lovely work!

  19. sophia says:

    I have an obsession for poached eggs. But for the death of me, I’ve never ever thought to poach them in artichokes. My, you ARe a culinary genius!

  20. mylittleexpatkitchen says:

    What a beautiful dish! I love the ingredients, even though I’m not a huge fan of artichokes. My mom is crazy about them. I’ll make this dish for her 🙂

  21. Joan Nova says:

    Looks like an absolutely delicious lunch to me. I will definitely have to look for the artichoke bottoms – thanks for the tip!

  22. shayma says:

    that is so beautiful, Joumana. youre an artist. who would have thought of preparing eggs in an artichoke base? i adore it. x shayma

  23. alma wad says:

    be careful with those fava beans – they may trigger anemia due to the lack of an enzyme – which condition is so common in the middle east
    otherwise very attractive dish

  24. Cara says:

    What a great use of artichokes, and such a beautiful and healthy dish!

  25. OysterCulture says:

    Oh my gosh, this just sounds so good, artichoke bottoms + fava beans. How great is that!

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