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Artichokes Braised With Fennel, Leeks And Peas Recipe - Cooking Index

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Artichokes Braised With Fennel, Leeks And Peas

A bit more of an effort than the artichoke saute, this would be a dish for a spring supper, and it can easily be a vegetarian main dish. I often serve it with steamed spinach, and if fresh fava beans are available, I'll include some of them too. Serve toasted country bread rubbed lightly with garlic in each bowl. I like to use new red potatoes for this recipe.

Type: Vegetables
Serves: 6 people

Recipe Ingredients

4   Artichokes (large)
  Water - as needed
  Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons 30mlButter or olive oil
1/4 cup 36g / 1.3ozDiced shallots
2   Leeks, white and 1" pale green - sliced 1/4"
1/2 cup 118mlWhite wine
2   Fennel bulbs - cut into 1" wedges,
  Joined at root end
2 1/2 cups 592mlVegetable or chicken broth or water - (to 3 cups)
  Salt - to taste
  Freshly-ground black pepper - to taste
6   Boiling potatoes - quartered, or (small)
  Lengthwise halved fingerlings
1/2 cup 118mlCreme fraiche - (to 3/4 cup)
1 teaspoon 5mlDijon mustard
1 cup 160g / 5.6ozPeas or shelled fava beans
3 tablespoons 45mlChopped fennel greens and/or parsley

Recipe Instructions

Snap off snap off several layers of the tough outer leaves by pulling them downward so that they break off at the base. Stop when the inner leaves become a lighter yellowish green and look tender. Trim the stem and slice off the top third of the artichoke. With a paring knife, smooth the rough areas around the base, removing any dark green parts. Cut the trimmed artichoke into sixths. Remove the fuzzy chokes of mature artichokes with a paring knife. Set artichokes in bowl with enough water to cover and lemon juice.

Melt butter in wide soup pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and leeks and cook, stirring frequently, without browning, 3 to 4 minutes. Add wine, raise heat and simmer 2 minutes. Drain artichokes and add them to pot along with fennel and broth. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste, then press a piece of crumbled parchment or wax paper directly over vegetables. Bring to boil, then simmer, covered, until artichokes are tender, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile steam potatoes until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. When artichokes and fennel are tender, remove them with slotted spoon to dish. Whisk creme fraiche and mustard into broth and boil briskly to make a thin sauce, 5 to 10 minutes. Add peas, cook over medium heat until tender, 3 to 4 minutes, then return vegetables and potatoes to pot. Add fennel greens and serve.

Hints

Variations: As the season progresses, take advantage of small market carrots, the last asparagus, the first zucchini or tender new turnips. For the fall artichoke crop, include diced celery root with the artichokes. Cool-weather sorrel, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup per recipe) simmered with the cream and then pureed, adds a bright, lemony bit to the dish.


Dietary Information:

Each of 6 servings: 272 calories; 569 mg sodium; 37 mg cholesterol; 12 grams fat; 33 grams carbohydrates; 10 grams protein; 2.64 grams fiber.

Source:
"The Los Angeles Times, 04-05-2000"

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