Archive for June, 2008

Our new kitchen is officially broken in! We had family dinner at our new place this past Sunday night. My friend Andrea and I teamed up and made this great dish. However, the grocery store did not have baby artichokes so we were stuck with the large, normal, scary sized ones! We made it work and pulled it off quite well! We just trimmed and cleaned the artichokes and then steamed them whole for about 45 minutes (!). We (or I should say Andrea) cleaned them out and we added the yummy artichoke meat to the risotto at the very end. Perfect solution!

We served the risotto with a Summer Salad of Tomatoes, Green Leaf Lettuce, Basil, Fennel and Mozzarella and a simple Balsamic and Oil vinegrette. We also served a Spinach Torte, which was an Andrea family recipe consisting of spinach, rice, bread crumbs and cheese. Yum!

(Picture from Martha Stewart.com)


Serves 6

2 Lemons
10 baby artichokes (or four large!)
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock mixed with 3 cups water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 garlic clove, minced
Coarse salt
2 cups short-grain Italian rice, such as Arborio
1 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme, plus sprigs for garnish
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup mascarpone


  1. Remove 3 teaspoons grated zest from 1 lemon; halve the lemon, and squeeze out 1 tablespoon juice. Set zest and juice aside. Cut remaining lemon in half, and squeeze into a medium bowl of cold water; add all rinds to water.
  2. Prepare the artichokes: Working with 1 artichoke at a time, snap off tough out­er leaves until pale-green leaves are exposed. Cut off top third. Using a paring knife, peel dark-green layer from base and stem; trim stem. Quarter artichoke lengthwise. Transfer to lemon water.
  3. Bring stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low.
  4. Melt butter with oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is slightly softened, about 6 minutes. Drain artichokes, and add to pan. Cook, stirring often, un­til artichokes are just tender, about 12 minutes. Add rice, and stir until coated, about 1 minute. Pour in wine, and cook, stirring, until wine has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add enough hot stock (about 1 cup) to just cover rice. Cook, stirring, until stock is almost absorbed. Continue adding stock, 3/4 cup at a time, waiting for each addition to be absorbed before adding the next; cook, stirring, until rice is tender but still slightly firm in the center, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat, and discard bay leaf.
  6. Stir in chopped thyme; season with salt and pepper. Add mascarpone, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, and the lemon juice; stir until mascarpone is melted and rice is moist and creamy.
  7. Serve immediately, garnished with thyme sprigs and remaining teaspoon lemon zest.




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