Nigel Slater’s recipe for fried artichokes and basil mayonnaise

Crispy golden artichokes fried with new potatoes and a vivid herb mayo

The recipe

Put 2 egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl and stir in 2 tsp of smooth Dijon mustard and a pinch of salt. In a jug, mix together 150ml of sunflower oil and 100ml of olive oil. Pour a few drops of the oil into the egg yolks and mustard and whisk for a few seconds, then add a few drops more of oil. Beating continuously, add the oil, little by little, until the mayonnaise has thickened. As it progresses, you can add the oil in a thin, but steady stream until it is used up. The mayonnaise should be thick and glossy. Tear 12 basil leaves into small pieces, stir them into the mayonnaise, then add a squeeze of lemon juice, stir and set aside in a cool place.

Scrub 300g of new potatoes, then cut them into thin coins. Warm 3 tbsp of olive oil in a shallow pan, add the potatoes and let them cook over a moderate heat for about 8-10 minutes until pale gold, then turn and cook the other side. Lift them out and set aside.

Wipe the pan, add a little more oil and place over a moderate heat. Drain 4 large marinated artichoke halves and place them cut-side-down in the oil. Let them cook for about 4 minutes until the underside is crisp and golden.

Briefly return the potatoes to the pan until hot, drain the artichokes and potatoes on kitchen paper, season with a little salt, then serve with a bowl of basil mayonnaise and half a lemon. Enough for 2

The trick

You can buy artichokes preserved in oil in glass jars, though the best tend to be those sold loose at the deli. They are more generous in size and often have their soft, flavoursome stems attached. They are worth the higher price. I start the potatoes on a moderate heat, turning it up at the end in order to crisp their edges.

The twist

A simple summer sauce, made with finely diced tomatoes, basil, olive oil and red wine vinegar would be good with the fried artichokes. As would a sauce of ricotta, lemon and olive oil. There seem to be a lot of courgettes around at the moment, so you could use them in place of the potatoes