Weekday Vegetarian:Braised Artichokes with Wild Leeks from Inspiration Rather Than Recipe


Photo: Kelly Rossiter

I got the idea for this dish from this website 2 Gourmaniacs Food and Food Photography, but I changed the recipe around so much, I used it more as an inspiration rather than a strict following of the recipe. First of all, I removed the chicken to make a vegetarian dish, I didn't have any fiddleheads, I used ramps rather than shallots, I used fresh, rather than bottled artichoke hearts, I used way more than a splash of white wine, I used water rather than chicken stock, I used fresh thyme rather than fresh rosemary and I dropped the Parmesan cheese altogether. So, what did I make?I say all this, because I'm always telling people who don't cook that much that you don't have to slavishly follow a recipe. You can look at it as a jumping off point and substitute what you have on hand, rather than running out to the market and spending money on ingredients you don't need. Sometimes it makes it even better than the written recipe. In fact, as I'm writing this, I'm kicking myself for not thinking of adding some of my preserved lemons to the pan which I think would have been wonderful. I'll try this again once fiddleheads are here and add the lemons and see what happens.

You can serve this over pasta, rice or couscous, or you can serve it as a side dish. Just be sure to add some good bread to soak up the delicious sauce. If you want a vegan dish, leave out the butter.

Braised Artichokes with Wild Leeks

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1/4 lb artichokes
10 wild leeks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
fresh chopped thyme
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock or water
1 lemon, squeezed
1/3 cup of white wine
salt and pepper to taste

1. Place cold water and some lemon juice in a bowl. Set aside. Slice the top of the artichoke off about 1/3 of the way down. Remove hard outer leaves of the artichoke until you get the softer light green leaves underneath. Slice the artichoke in half and with a small spoon or a paring knife remove the fuzzy choke, leaving the rest of the artichoke intact. Drop into the water and lemon juice cut side down. Repeat until all of the artichokes are cleaned.

2. In a saucepan, heat olive oil and butter. Add wild leeks, garlic, thyme and artichoke. Cook for a few minutes until leeks have softened and garlic has turned golden brown. Pour in stock, lemon juice, white wine, salt and pepper, and reduce the sauce over low heat. Cover and cook until artichokes are tender, about 15 or 20 minutes.

More Wild Leek or Artichoke Recipes
On the Grill: Baby Artichokes
Add wild Leeks to a Springtime Pasta Salad
Whip Up a Wild Leek Tart

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