The artichokes growing where we walk the dog are looking pretty ready and they are a really good price in the market now so I bought a couple. I have never eaten artichoke before let alone cooked with one so I was a little nervous about preparing them- it looks complicated!
The artichoke globes are so pretty when you buy them like green & purple prehistoric looking flowers. It seems a real shame to pull all the leaves off when you want to cook them.
This is how the artichokes start out but by the time you have cleaned them down to the hearts, you are not left with much. You can understand why they are expensive to buy in jars. If you want to know how to clean an artichoke look here.
I would definitely recommend buying more than two! I thought one each would be plenty for a risotto but you don’t get left with much so I added some mushrooms to bulk it out a bit. The artichokes get soaked in lemon water to stop them discolouring so I decided to follow that flavour through in the risotto as well. The combination of artichoke, mushroom & lemon worked really well, I added some fresh parsley too..
Artichoke, Mushroom & Lemon Risotto
Serves 2 Vegetarian
- a knob of butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- at least 2 artichokes (4 would be better) you could use some from a jar of hearts.
- a handful of mushrooms, sliced
- 1 lemon 1/2 zested & then juiced
- 1/2 red onion finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
- 125 ml white wine or sherry
- about 1 litre veg stock
- 2 big handfuls of arborio rice (I used brown shortgrain)
- salt & black pepper
- a handful of fresh parsley chopped
- about 100 gr manchego cheese (or parmesan) grated
When you have prepared your artichokes (see above) put them in a bowl of water with the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Heat the oil and butter in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic over a medium low heat for about 5 minutes until soft but not browned. Chop up your artichoke hearts, add them to the pan with the mushrooms and a spoonful of the stock and cook until the chokes are tender about 5-8 minutes, add a bit more stock if it dries up.
Turn the heat up, add the rice and lemon zest & stir to coat the rice. After a minute or so add the wine and leave it to absorb into the rice. Season with salt & pepper.
Meanwhile put the veg stock in a small pan and bring to the boil the turn it down to a simmer. Add a ladleful of the hot stock to the rice, stir or swirl until all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring until each ladle has been absorbed. About 18-20 minutes.
When the rice is just cooked turn off the heat, add the other 1/2 lemon juice, the chopped parsley and the grated cheese. Stir to combine, put the lid on and leave it for 2 minutes.
Taste for seasoning then serve in warmed bowls with extra cheese & parsley garnish
If you are lucky enough to have some, crumble over some Lancashire cheese, so delicious with it and the lemon really highlights the flavour of the artichokes. This was my first attempt cooking with artichokes and it won’t be my last but I will definitely buy more next time, or maybe a jar of hearts!!
We had some risotto left over as I always make too much. I like to do this , it means you can get creative for lunch with the leftovers. We had some lovely long green peppers in the fridge that were just crying out to be stuffed, I added a little chopped green chilli to the risotto for a little heat and piled the mix into the halved and deseeded peppers.
I crumbled over some Lancashire cheese but you can use whatever you have, Feta or Parmesan would be good. Then sprinkle with a few breadcrumbs, drizzle with olive oil and bake in a 200 degree oven for about 25 minutes until the peppers are collapsing slightly and the cheese & breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Serve garnished with lime wedges to squeeze over and some fresh coriander or parsley. The lime juice brings all the flavours back to life, enhances the green chilli and sends it down Mexico way… Enjoy!