We’ll get there

05 . 19 . 14

Grilled Za'atar Artichokes and Wild Rice Salad via www.happyolks.com Grilled Za'atar Artichokes and Wild Rice Salad via www.happyolks.comGrilled Za'atar Artichokes and Wild Rice Salad via www.happyolks.com

Closing in on six weeks ’til the wedding (smiles). We’ve conjured the sort of day that requires little by way of traditional “planning” and I’ve found that the few things that require our attention this month ― wine lists, dance jams, family activities ― have been joyful and transportive moments away from the madness that is work in this season. On the one day Shaun was home last week we had a most-perfect day-date that included an oil change, bank deposits, dropping bags at Goodwill, and margaritas at 1pm before afternoon conference calls, respectively. This life, right now. There is dignity in the grind. Sleep has been hit/miss this spring, mostly the falling asleep part. The usual tracks repeat: who am I, where am I going, what am I doing with my life? I think of June 28. Shaun, beaming in his new suit. The friends and family who have rooted for us in this business of life and love. It works. I finally fall asleep.

Can’t wait to celebrate. There is SO MUCH, so very much to celebrate. We’ll get there.

In the meantime for my homies in the grind, some lighter tunes for cooking, working, and gathering on an almost-summer afternoon:

Grilled Za'atar Artichokes and Wild Rice Salad via www.happyolks.comGrilled Za'atar Artichokes and Wild Rice Salad via www.happyolks.comGrilled Za'atar Artichokes and Wild Rice Salad via www.happyolks.comGrilled Za'atar Artichokes and Wild Rice Salad via www.happyolks.comGrilled Za'atar Artichokes and Wild Rice Salad via www.happyolks.comGrilled Za'atar Artichokes and Wild Rice Salad via www.happyolks.com

Grilled Za’atar Artichokes and Wild Rice Salad

  • 2 lbs baby artichokes
  • 1 1/2 cup dry wild rice
  • 1 cup plump golden raisins
  • 25 large mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup dill fronds
  • 6 green onions, sliced at  bias
  • 1 preserved lemon, rind reserved and minced
  • Juice of 4 fresh lemons, divided
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 3 tsp Za’atar, divided
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt


Rinse rice before cooking. Stir in rice with 3 cups of water or broth to a boil with 1 tsp of salt. Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow to cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the rice is puffed and the liquid is mostly absorbed. Fluff rice with a fork and continue to cook, uncovered, to evaporate excess liquid. Remove from heat and let cool.

To prepare the artichokes, cut off and discard the tip of the artichoke. Pull off and discard the dark green, tough outer leaves until you reach the soft, light green/yellow part. Using a pairing knife, trim the stems and shave off any remaining dark green parts of the artichoke around the base of the stem. Cut in half. Place in a bowl with lemon juice to prevent from oxidizing. Repeat with remaining artichokes. Drizzle with olive oil and 2 tsp of Za’atar. Place in the fridge to marinate for 20 minutes.

Start the grill. Over medium-high heat, grill artichokes belly-side down on a vegetable grate (optional, helps prevent losing a few soldiers). Cover grill and cook for 10-ish minutes until the ‘chokes are browning and crispy at the edges. Return to the bowl of marinating liquid and stir together with a bit of cumin.

To prepare the salad, toss room-temperature rice with herbs, preserved lemon rind, shallots, green onion, raisins, juice of 2 lemons, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Add salt to taste. Top with grilled artichokes and their liquid.

Grilled Za'atar Artichokes and Wild Rice Salad via www.happyolks.com Grilled Za'atar Artichokes and Wild Rice Salad via www.happyolks.com Grilled Za'atar Artichokes and Wild Rice Salad via www.happyolks.com Grilled Za'atar Artichokes and Wild Rice Salad via www.happyolks.com

  • Glorious photos. Sounds like a glorious wedding day to come. I hear you on the blog being another thing to do, with the errands, work, life demands knocking at your door. I have a pile awaiting its own goodwill drop off, and a long long to do list. It’s easy for the creative pursuits to fall to the bottom. No matter what you decide – thanks for sharing to date. That counts too. It’s not an endless treadmill of blog posts. You’ve already created something beautiful and shared it with the world. Thanks for that.

  • Hayley

    I can’t agree with Leah’s words more. Thank you for the music, and the breather from the glorious grind.

  • Your wedding is so soon!! I can only imagine how excited you are….my wedding is in August! Love this recipe too, friend. Looks great :)

  • YAYYYY WEDDING!!!! so excited for you :) and yay for za’atar!!!

  • Wow, this looks so delicious. And YAY for the upcoming wedding! I am so excited for you. And totally don’t feel obligated to force it with the writing — it will come when it is ready.

  • I must admit I’ve never cooked an artichoke. However, I think that’s about to change with this GRILLED recipe. Perfect! I couldn’t be happier that you and Shaun created a wedding that is truly fit to your personalities. It is going to be the most amazing, joyful day that you both deserve. I would definitely be sad to see this space retire, but at least I know where to find you. ;) Sending loving vibes your way, my dear. Enjoy the sunshine. xo

  • Oh my dear, you own this site…not the other way around. I’m still learning that! Beautiful photographs and words as always. You’re an inspiration to us all!

  • I never thought to grill artichokes…I will definitely try this beautiful dish. Happy Nesting.

  • Wow that looks awesome! I love wild rice, sounds like it would be wonderful with this combination of flavors and fresh vegetables.

  • This looks so so delish and with such beautiful photographs as well.

  • This looks like an absolutely superb combination of flavors – yum! Congratulations on the coming wedding. Love the playlist – thanks!

  • val

    Thanks for sharing a list of music to listen to… I don’t know all the songs but some of em and it looks like a good collection that I will definitely listen to in the kitchen.

    Valentina Duracinsky Blog

  • Gorgeous salad and photos! I haven’t won the battle against artichokes yet, I’m always left with nothing! haha! Re motivated now to give it a go! Thanks for the sweet tunes and happy planning x

  • wow. that is one beautiful salad. wish i could get baby artichokes where I live. I might just move…

  • This is one of my favorite springtime dishes to make, though I’ve never tried it with za’atar. Next time. Also, I’m right there with you in the whole “life is crazy and unpredictable and amazing and stressful and beautiful all at the same time.” Sometimes I wish it would just calm down and take a break, but it’s the business that keeps it exciting. Congrats on the wedding – it’ll be amazing!

  • Hooray marriage! Imagining weddings is one of my falling asleep tricks, too. Remembering how it feels to be a part of something so significantly good – works for me too. You’re going to make a gorgeous bride!

  • One of my best friends is getting married in August and has taken the same approach to “planning.” It’s so refreshing to talk to her and hear how things are coming together. Love is so worth celebrating in a way that most suits you. Thank you for compiling such a great playlist for those of us in the grind–I am going hard doing field research right now, and this list is helping me focus and mellow out!

  • Happy celebrations! I love your attitude towards life + love + marriage and all it entails. You deserve all the happiness in the world.

  • Ohh Kelsey, I’m so excited for you! I’m sure you’re going to be surrounded by so much love! You’ll be so blissed out for weeks, falling asleep won’t be a problem ;) Grilled artichokes, I’m on it! This looks like something I can make even as the seasons turn round!

  • Hey there! I think this is my first comment on any of your posts. I’ve been hanging out, following your journey on Happyolks for over a year now. Your work is so beautiful and inspiring. What made me want to reach out was that you shared about your feelings about your upcoming wedding. I, too, am planning a wedding (and food blogging on the side). It’s such an exciting and busy time. Congrats on your upcoming nuptials! If it’s half as beautiful as what you bring to Happyolks it’ll be brilliant. xo

  • Sounds incredible! Love the flavour profile.

  • SIX WEEKS??! I can only imagine what a beautiful bride you’ll be. These are THE DAYS! xo

  • Christine

    I skimmed this post and then returned to read it fully and noticed some subtle, sweet changes. I love reading the initial and then revised versions of your posts, and I love that you publish both versions: It makes it seem as though your readers are part of the process. That inclusion into the process has nourished both you and us, and that nourishment will sustain us even if you decide to abandon this space. Thank you and best wishes!

  • Love love love the colors in this salad! What an exciting time for you!

  • Wow, you two are going to have such an amazing and exciting summer. I can’t even imagine how it must feel like! On another note, your salad looks wonderful! Unfortunately, baby artichokes are hard to come by here in Finland. I actually brought 2 pounds of them with me on my last flight from Munich to Finland ;) Talking about being obsessed with food…

  • Exciting! I wish you and Shaun the very best in this season of life. I’m sure you’ll be a radiant bride. Thanks a million for the playlist, it’s getting me through my two page to do list that woke me up at 5am. As always, beautifully done on this one, I’ll be making it for sure.

  • How lovely! Looking at this at 12midnight doesn’t help though… x

  • I’m so happy and over the moon excited for you two I just might explode (and oh my gosh I remember the planning madness)..

    Biggest hug!

  • Happy celebrations! lots of happy times!

  • Just thought you should know that the office has been jammin’ to your Soundcloud playlist for the past week. writing, music, or just food…keep it up! always a pleasure visiting your blog :).

  • I love this recipe and your blog kelsely! I love that you incorporate videos and playlists:) You’re an inspiration

  • Gorgeous! Artichokes and za’atar are a few of my favorite things….I’m going to have to try to adapt this for my tiny NYC kitchen (VERY jealous of your grill, it goes without saying). Thank you for yet another lovely recipe, and congrats on your upcoming wedding! :)

  • great recipe and really beautiful photos! love the playlists in your blog :)

  • Beautiful photos — artichokes are my favorite! I can’t wait to try this recipe. Wonderful playlist, by the way.

  • Enjoy your special day!! Pinch yourself – hard enough to bruise – that way the magic lasts a little longer :-)

    And, as usual, Eddie has the right words for the occasion …

    Its no shame that
    Love’s a game that
    I can only play with you
    what I’m saying
    is I’m here waiting for you

    I’ve seen the light
    I’m satisfied that
    the brightest star thats you
    Satellite I’m holding tight
    Beaming back to you

    Days turn into
    Night turns into
    Days turn into today
    Don’t think I’m out playing
    cause I’m inside waiting for you

    I’ve felt the light
    I’m satisfied that
    the highest high is you
    Satellite I’m holding tight
    Beaming back to you

    Don’t you worry
    I believe your story
    You were put away
    for something you didn’t do
    But I’m waiting
    I’ve been saving my love…

    Eddie Vedder

  • Your photos are stunning!

  • Karen

    I Just discovered your blog today, reading My Blue & White Kitchen, and I was loving every post until I read the one about Torres del Paine and loved it even more.
    I am from Santiago, and yes!! your blog has also traveled this far. Congratulations on your beautiful page and photography. I am passionate about food as well. Maybe we can exchange recipes from our countries. And congrats on your upcoming wedding…I am guessing you will be serving pisco sour. :)

  • Wow! That salad looks delicious! I’d love to try it, especially since I love artichokes and rice together!


  • So, I take it the wedding happened or is happening soon! YAY WEDDINGS! Eric and I had a June wedding (our anniversary… 5 years… is coming up on Friday). Hope you two have the most wonderful time. It’s a magical thing… being surrounded by so many people who love you.

  • Elizabeth

    I simply cannot get enough of this playlist, your lovely writing, and wonderful recipes. Happy wedding, and many happy days to follow.

  • I think what you are saying is that “the grind” is just part of our lives these days and that we have to embrace and find joy in all of these moments. By providing music, great writing and beautiful photos (along with a great recipe!) you are making all of these moments special. And my wife is a total artichoke freak so we are excited to try this compelling recipe. Thanks!

  • Meredith

    Reading your blog always makes me feel happy! thanks

  • Amybeth Hurst

    I want everything on this site! Such fantastic ideas and recipes. Thank you for sharing. Amybeth Hurst, Portland, ME

  • Ally

    WOW WOW WOW You make beautiful amazing food!!!!
    I love your choice of music also..Thank you so much for your SHARING YOUR GIFTS!!!

    Is there any way to share your music lists with me? Thank you!
    Happiness NOW!!


  1. 8 Food Blog Links We Love | Customer
  2. Happy little Sunday things. - Leaf Parade.

[gravityform id="1" name="Let's get in Touch" ajax="true"]