The origin of artichokes is unknown, though they are said to have come from North Africa, where they are still found in the wild state. In France artichokes are very popular deep fried. In Italy artichoke hearts in oil are the usual vegetable for spring. In Spain, the more tender younger and smaller artichokes are used. They can be sprinkled with olive oil and left in hot ashes in a barbecue, sauteed in olive oil with garlic, or sauteed and combined with eggs in a tortilla (frittata). More often cited are the Greek artichokes (a la polita), of which probably the finest examples are to be found on the island of Tinos. The heart of the artichoke is also eaten. Artichoke stems, which are often thrown away, are perfectly edible and taste like the artichoke heart. Artichokes can also be made into an herbal tea. (source:wikipedia)
Between february and april is time for baby artichokes that are easy to prepare: they only need a bit of trimming and you can eat the whole thing because they haven’t developed the fuzzy portion of the choke in the center. It is not a separate variety, they are picked from the lower part of the plant. Of course I could not resist to buy some tiny, cute artichokes and they ended up in a risotto.
5 baby artichokes
250 g risotto rice
100 ml white wine
500 ml vegetable stock
35 g butter
50 g parmesan
Cut the stems of the artichokes, peel and add to the vegetable stock until it cooks, after reduce heat and keep it simmering. Cut the top half of the artichokes until you reach the yellow core and remove the outer leaves. Slice, sprinke lemon juice on it. Heat olive oil, add chopped onion and sauté. Add rice and mix until rice is well covered with oil.
Add wine, increase heat to medium, and stir constantly. When the wine has been absorbed, add a little of the hot bouillon. Add salt and pepper.
Once the stock is absorbed, add a little more; repeat this process, stirring constantly for about 15 minutes, then add sliced artichoke and cook for another 10-15 minutes the same way over medium heat. Stir in the butter and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
I submit this post to the WHB created by Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen, who passed it on to Haalo, of Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once, this time hosted by Dee and the crew of The Daily Tiffin.