I have been reading through one of my favorite new cookbooks, Bountiful, from one of my absolutely favorite food blogging couples – White on Rice. This dynamic duo are a huge inspiration to me constantly. I pour over their incredible photos and recipes in awe of the magic that they create from their land and within their kitchen. The life they lead is nothing short of awesome. From their cookbook intro: “Travelling the world to teach workshops, speak at conferences, and meet our food community face to face is what drives us to purse this life….” (Sigh. A girl can dream.) Follow their blog for some true inspiration!
I had a hankering for artichokes this weekend and remembered their recipe for Braised Artichokes that I have had dog-eared since I originally took a spin through the cookbook. I cooked up a batch this morning with the intent of serving for lunch – hah. Fat chance. I started with four artichokes and as I type this at 10 AM, there are 3 missing with piles of artichoke leaves peeking from the trash bin. I will confess to eating only one (ok, maaaaybe one and a half…). The extra step of searing the cut side of the artichoke to provide extra texture and caramelization – brilliant AND delicious. The artichoke prep is easy and the simmering shallot/garlic/white wine sauce has my kitchen filled with a stomach gurgle-producing aroma….yum yum yum. Highly recommend giving this one a try as well as buying their cookbook for a dose of truly inspired seasonal recipes.
Braised Artichokes in White Wine
Adpated from Bountiful, Todd Porter and Diane Cru
4 medium artichokes
1 lemon, halved, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 large or 3 medium shallots, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 whole bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup water
Prep the artichokes: In a bowl of water large enough to hold the artichokes, squeeze half of the lemon. (This will prevent the artichokes from browning.) Trim about 1 inch off the pointy end of the artichoke leaves. Trim the stem to about 1 inch or so from the base. Remove the tougher outer leaves of the artichoke, leaving the lighter softer leaves intact. As you trim the artichokes, place them in the bowl of water.
Find a tall wide pot large enough to accommodate all the artichokes standing. Over medium heat, melt one tablespoon of butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until the shallots are softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the bay leaf, juice of other half of lemon, wine and water. Bring the liquid to a slow simmer. Place the artichokes in the poaching liquid, stems pointing up. Lower heat to maintain simmer. Cover and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes until the stems and artichokes are tender.
Remove the artichokes, reserving the liquid. When cool enough to handle, cut the artichokes in half. Using a small spoon or your fingers, remove the fuzzy center bits (the choke). Discard. While trimming the artichokes, bring the poaching liquid to a boil over medium heat. Allow to simmer until reduced to about half – about 5-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Keep warm.
In a saute pan over medium heat, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter with the remaining tablespoon olive oil. When the butter is no longer foaming, add the artichokes, cut side down and sear until brown and crispy, about 1-3 minutes. Place the artichoke halves on a warmed plate. Serve drizzled with the poaching liquid and additional lemon halves if desired.