Artichoke Risotto

Overflowing crates of artichokes fill the market streets - a sure sign that Spring is on its way! So what to do with these edible flowers - try one of my favs - artichoke risotto. We love to serve this for Easter feasts as well! If artichokes seem a bit overwhelming & you wonder where to begin?! Look no further: The Art of the 'Choke (Cleaning Artichokes)
This recipe takes about an hour total time & yes - you've gotta stir the risotto constantly. It's a labor of love & your work won't go unnoticed (hence the clean bowls!) You'll find some recipes with short-cuts however to really get the creamy chewy consistency you must work the starch from the rice & that means good old fashion elbow-grease!

Artichoke Risotto
Risotto di Carciofi
Serves 6

4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
8 fresh artichoke
5 cups or so fresh vegetable stock
3/4 cup dry white wine
scant 2 cups risotto rice - Arborio or Carnaroli are best
salt & pepper
Parmesan cheese

Start by cleaning your artichokes (click here for help) and soaking them in lemon water.

Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion & garlic and cook for 10 minutes or so over med-low heat with out browning.

Chop up your artichokes and saute them slowly until tender - so you could mush with a fork.

Add a couple of spoonfuls of vegetable stock to help the process along and keep from browning the 'chokes.

Now raise the heat, add the rice and saute for a minute or two. Add in the wine and let it cook out a bit.

Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, bring the stock to a boil in another pan.

Add a ladle-full of the hot stock and cook, stirring, until it has been absorbed into the rice.

Continue adding the stock, a ladle-full at a time, constantly stirring until each addition has been absorbed. This will take 18-20 minutes.

When the rice is al'dente, turn off the heat, add in a handful or two of graded cheese and give the rice one more stir, check seasoning. Rice should be thick & creamy but not runny. Cover the pot and allow the rice to sit for a couple of minutes.

To serve, spoon the rice into the bowls and sprinkle with parmesan, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

Buy a couple of extra chokes’ and You can top the dish with a couple of the hearts steamed or boiled separately.

Now MANGIA!! Serve immediately.

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