Talk Takeaway: Cooking with Susan Feniger

Posted on Jul 9, 2013 10:45am

For The Talk's Food Festival, Chef Susan Feniger, owner of Border Grill and Susan Feniger's STREET, visited for a Talk Takeaway: Cooking segment.  Here are her easy and delicious vegan recipes from today's show!

Artichokes with Lemon Za'atar Dipping Sauce

Serves 6

3 large artichokes, cleaned (see instructions below)
Cold water as needed
1 lemon, quartered
2 Tablespoons kosher salt, or as desired
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ¼ cups Lemon Za'atar Dipping Sauce (recipe follows)


To clean the artichokes, first cut off the bottom portion of the stem, leaving only 1 inch of the stem at the bottom.

Using a sharp knife (sometimes serrated knives work best for this task), cut off the top "tip" of the artichoke, approximately 2 inches down, straight across the top.

Using scissors, clip off the sharp spike of the remaining leaves. Repeat until all of the artichokes are cleaned.

Place the artichokes in a large pot with enough water to come three quarters of the way up the artichokes.

Squeeze the lemon quarters into the water and then throw the remaining shell of the lemon in as well.

Add the salt and olive oil into the water.

Cook on high heat, covered, until water comes to a boil (approximately 15 minutes), then reduce the heat and simmer 30 minutes longer. To test: a gentle tug should pull off the lower leaves easily but there should still be resistance and the whole thing should pull out in one piece, not fall apart.

Turn off the heat. Remove each artichoke and place upside down on a plate to drain and let them cool to room temperature (approximately 15 to 20 minutes).

Discard the cooking liquid and all its ingredients.

Once cool, cut each artichoke in half.

With a spoon, gently scoop out and discard the fuzzy inner "choke" and the pointy purple leaves that line the inside.

Cut each half in half again, creating small portions that are more easily shared.

Place on a platter and serve with the Lemon Za'atar Dipping Sauce.


Lemon Za'atar Dipping Sauce

Makes 1 ¼ cups

1 cup veganaise
Juice of 1 lemon (approximately 1/4 cup)
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sumac
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup sesame seed, toasted
3 Tablespoons dried thyme


In a small mixing bowl, place all of the ingredients.

Stir well with a rubber spatula or spoon to combine.

California Avocado Ceviche

Makes 4 to 6 servings

10 ounces avocado, diced
5 ounces jicama, diced
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 small red onion, diced
2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, and diced
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
½ cup tomato juice
2 jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
1 bunch oregano, leaves only, chopped (1/2 cup)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup small green olives, pitted
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Lettuce leaves for garnish
Tortilla chips for garnish



Combine the avocado and jicama and ½ cup of the lime juice in a glass or ceramic dish and marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Drain and discard the lime juice.

Transfer the avocado and jicama to a medium bowl. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice, the onion, tomatoes, orange juice, tomato juice, chiles, oregano, olive oil, olives, salt, and pepper. Toss well and chill for at least an hour, or as long as overnight. Serve cold in chilled glasses or on lettuce-lined plates, with tortilla chips as garnish.

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