Wine-Braised Baby Artichokes + Farro Risotto

Wine-Braised Baby Artichokes + Farro Risotto

 

Ode to the Artichoke | Pablo Neruda

The artichoke
With a tender heart
Dressed up like a warrior,
Standing at attention, it built
A small helmet
Under its scales
It remained
Unshakeable,
By its side
The crazy vegetables
Uncurled
Their tendrills and leaf-crowns,
Throbbing bulbs,
In the sub-soil
The carrot
With its red mustaches
Was sleeping,
The grapevine
Hung out to dry its branches
Through which the wine will rise,
The cabbage
Dedicated itself
To trying on skirts,
The oregano
To perfuming the world,
And the sweet
Artichoke
There in the garden,
Dressed like a warrior,
Burnished
Like a proud
Pomegrante.
And one day
Side by side
In big wicker baskets
Walking through the market
To realize their dream
The artichoke army
In formation.
Never was it so military
Like on parade.
The men
In their white shirts
Among the vegetables
Were
The Marshals
Of the artichokes
Lines in close order
Command voices,
And the bang
Of a falling box.

But
Then
Maria
Comes
With her basket
She chooses
An artichoke,
She’s not afraid of it.
She examines it, she observes it
Up against the light like it was an egg,
She buys it,
She mixes it up
In her handbag
With a pair of shoes
With a cabbage head and a
Bottle
Of vinegar
Until
She enters the kitchen
And submerges it in a pot.

Thus ends
In peace
This career
Of the armed vegetable
Which is called an artichoke,
Then
Scale by scale,
We strip off
The delicacy
And eat
The peaceful mush
Of its green heart.

 

This was my first time working with fresh artichokes. I took the most conventional (and presumably the most delicious) route to preparing them – simply wine-braised with a little butter and salt. Come to think of it, most of Spring could be prepared this way – radishes, asparagus, leeks – they don’t need much to taste their best. The risotto has a certain sophisticated mac and cheese quality. All together it’s a delectable dish that comes together surprisingly effortlessly.

Wine-Braised Baby Artichokes + Farro Risotto Wine-Braised Baby Artichokes + Farro Risotto Wine-Braised Baby Artichokes + Farro Risotto Wine-Braised Baby Artichokes + Farro Risotto Wine-Braised Baby Artichokes + Farro Risotto Wine-Braised Baby Artichokes + Farro Risotto Wine-Braised Baby Artichokes + Farro Risotto

 

Ingredients for the Farro Risotto 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small white onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups farro

1/4 cup dry white wine

3 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup half and half

1/4 cup freshly grated asiago cheese

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Thyme for garnish

 

Directions  

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the farro and cook for 1 minute, stirring to coat it with the oil. Add the wine and cook, stirring until it is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, 1 cup at a time, and cook, stirring, until absorbed between additions. The farro is done when it is al dente and suspended in the thick, creamy liquid, about 25 minutes total. Stir in the half and half, the cheese and butter and simmer until the risotto has thickened, about 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

 

Ingredients for the Wine-Braised Artichokes

1 lemon, halved

1 1/4 pounds baby artichokes

1/2 cup vegetable stock

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

Salt to taste

 

Directions  

Fill a large bowl with water, and juice lemon into water. Reserve lemon halves. Remove tough outer leaves of artichokes. Trim pointy tops and stems. Cut artichokes in half, rubbing them with lemon halves and then transferring them to the lemon water as you work to prevent discoloration. Drain artichokes, and transfer to a large skillet along with stock, wine, butter and oil. Set over medium-high heat, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until artichokes are tender and golden and liquid has completely evaporated, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

 

Notes 

Artichoke recipe from here, risotto recipe from here.

These tender and buttery artichokes were given to me by Melissa’s. All opinions are always my own.

Roasted Red Pepper, Almond + Feta Salad

Roasted Red Pepper, Almond + Feta Salad

One of the main ways I show my love is through cooking something yummy for the people I care about. If you’re reading this, most likely you feel the same. When I was living on my own, the meals I prepared for my single-self were a little different from the ones you see here on the blog. Chicken-sausage from TJ’s and tortellini with wilted spinach was a go-to. There were always healthy hippie salads tho – I was obsessed with this one for a long time. And pretty much grew up eating some version of this. But I had never heard of tempeh or attempted to make a veggie burger so when I met Mark (aka: the 20+ year-long veg-eating (yes that means he doesn’t even eat chicken) super-sweet southern boy) I was scrambling and also soooo in love, but also freaking out. I wanted to cook him something delicious – but it couldn’t have any meat in it so how was I going do that?! Enter: food blogs! Thank you internet!

One of the very first blogs I discovered was seven spoons. Tara’s blog wasn’t strictly vegetarian but her recipes inspired me and resonated with the way I like to cook – lots of flavor, fresh herbs, spices – just delicious real food. So after years of following her blog of course I had to get the cookbook! Within moments of receiving it I had already earmarked many recipes: Roasted Carrots with Harissa Aioli and Dukkah (which I made the very next day – they were amazing!) Baked Eggs, North Indian-Style, Halloumi in Chermoula, Everyday Yellow Dal, Green Chutney made with granny smith apples and limes (I made this one too – sooo good!). The recipes in this book are crowd-pleasers for sure, recipes you’ll want to make and share with friends. Long, lingering dinner party recipes where every little dish placed onto the table is better than the one before it. And the lovely part is they’re not complicated dishes – if some require a bit more explaining, Tara talks you through each little step, encouraging you and giving you options for substitutions along the way. Today I’m sharing this very simple but extremely delicious Roasted Red Pepper, Almond and Feta Salad. With so few ingredients, please be sure yours are of the best quality. I used goat’s milk feta from Bosky Acres local goat dairy farm. Their feta is awesome – mild, creamy with a little tang and not overly salty like the store-bought stuff. Don’t buy the already crumbled stuff with powdered cellulose on it – get the good stuff, it’s so worth it. I will keep this recipe in my back-pocket forever. It’s the perfect thing to serve impromptu guests –  accompanied with a nice crisp white wine and some toasted baguette or ciabatta on the side. Cheers Tara! I love your book!

For more #sevenspoonscookbook recipes, check out these lovely posts!

Smitten Kitchen | Mushrooms and Greens with Toast

Crispy Vegetable Pakoras with Fresh Green Chutney

Dippy Eggs with Cheese-Fried Toast Soldiers

Sprouted Kitchen | Huevos a La Plaza De Mercado

101 Cookbooks | Green Smoothie Recipe 

Sassy Radish | Lentil Kofta Curry

A Thought for Food | Garlicky Broccoli Rabe with Almonds + Fried Capers

Andrew Zimmerman | Hummus with White Miso

Roasted Red Pepper, Almond + Feta Salad Roasted Red Pepper, Almond + Feta Salad Roasted Red Pepper, Almond + Feta Salad Roasted Red Pepper, Almond + Feta Salad Roasted Red Pepper, Almond + Feta Salad Roasted Red Pepper, Almond + Feta Salad Roasted Red Pepper, Almond + Feta Salad Roasted Red Pepper, Almond + Feta Salad Roasted Red Pepper, Almond + Feta Salad

 

Ingredients for the Roasted Red Pepper Salad 

12 ounces goat’s milk feta

2 cups jarred whole roasted red peppers

4 ounces marcona almonds

1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

juice of half a lemon

olive oil for drizzling

 

Directions  

Slice the (drained) roasted red peppers into strips. Place on platter. Crumble feta over the peppers, next add the chopped parsley leaves and almonds. Squeeze the lemon juice over everything. Drizzle with your best olive oil. Serve with toasted ciabatta – optional.

 

Notes 

This post was sponsored by Bosky Acres. All opinions are always my own. I loved this cheese and if you’re a goat cheese fan living in the Charlotte area you should totally check them out! Here’s where you can find them: Bosky Acres Goat Cheese can be found at 4 local farmers markets: Charlotte Regional Farmers Market (Saturdays and Tuesdays), Matthews Community Farmers Market, Union County Farmers Market Monroe, Waxhaw Farmers Market, as well as Earthfare, Queen City Pantry and on the menu at many local farm-to-table restaurants like: Heritage Food & Drink in Waxhaw, Rocksalt, Fern and 300 East. Check out their Facebook page to see where they’ll be! Oh AND they’re building a cheese cave right now so they’ll be offering harder, aged cheeses really soon! Hanging out in a cool cheese cave sounds like a pretty fun summer activity if you ask me! Plus, aren’t baby goats the cutest?!

Recipe from the Seven Spoons cookbook. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.