Ardî Shawkî bil-Hâmid is a typical Syrian meze of artichokes in a tomato sauce flavored with cilantro and pomegranate molasses. It’s fresh, piquant flavor will perk up any meze assemblage.
We made ours using a recipe from the esteemed Saveur magazine, however, it can be simplified by using pre-strained tomatoes or passata. Furthermore, using fresh artichokes is ideal, but in a pinch canned artichokes preserved in water will do the trick.
From the Saveur website:
2–3 medium (ripe or canned) tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3⁄4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
8 hearts of steamed medium artichokes, halved if large
2 tbsp. pomegranate molasses
1. Place tomatoes in a medium-meshed sieve set over a small bowl. Use a spoon to press juice through. Reserve juice; discard seeds and skin.
2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and cilantro, season with salt, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Reduce heat to medium, add reserved tomato juice, artichokes, and 1 cup water, and simmer until liquid is reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer artichokes to a serving platter, then increase heat to medium-high, add pomegranate molasses, and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, 1–2 minutes. Spoon over artichokes and serve.