With all of the travel that I’ve been doing for work lately, I’ve been finding it little difficult to keep up with my normal cooking routine. While I’m gone, poor Graham has been left to fend for himself in the kitchen and when I return, I’m too tired to do much more than heat a few things up. While we both miss my more elaborate meals, I think secretly Graham is pleased to have a break once in a while from washing all of the piles of dishes I usually generate in the kitchen…!
Last weekend I did manage to make it to the farmers market and even though I was leaving again for a trip the next day, I couldn’t resist buying a ton of produce. The baby artichokes at one of the stands were practically calling out to me to take them home. Since they were some of the cutest little things I had ever seen, I couldn’t pass them by — never mind that I had no idea what I would do with them.
By the time I’d walked home from the market, I had devised a plan to sauté the artichokes with a little butter, garlic and lemon—really what vegetable doesn’t taste good with these three ingredients? When served over some simple (but tasty) ricotta polenta, these little artichokes may have come close to making up for my many missed and less than stellar meals lately. I’m hoping I’ll have more time in the kitchen again soon, so I’ll redeem myself a little more and Graham can resume his normal dish duty.
Sautéed Baby Artichokes and Ricotta Polenta
Since it was my first time cooking with baby artichokes, I was experimenting and did not measure my ingredients very precisely. You may have to tweak things in this recipe to your taste.
- 20-30 baby artichokes
- Juice from one small lemon
- 2 tablespoons butter (more if needed)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper
Trim away the tough outer leaves from each of the baby artichokes, until you reach the tender interior leaves. Remove any tough outer bits from the stems and slice off the tips of the leaves on top if they are tough. Quarter each artichoke and dunk them immediately after cutting into a bowl of the lemon juice to keep them from discoloring.
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan and add garlic. Cook garlic for 1 minute and then add the cut up artichokes and any remaining lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the artichoke start to brown. Serve over ricotta polenta (see recipe below).
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup polenta or coarse corn meal
- ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- Salt and pepper
Heat the water in a medium sized pot. When the water is boiling, whisk in the corn meal. Turn down the heat and allow the corn mixture to simmer until it is thick and creamy, stirring the mixture frequently. When the corn mixture has thickened and no longer has any crunch to it, remove it from the heat and stir in the ricotta. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:
|Recipe Report Card||Notes About Recipe Ratings|
Four Chefs (Delicious!)
|I’ve talked about my love of artichokes before and this dish may have made that love grow a little stronger.|
Three Easy Chairs (Average Difficulty)
|Preparing the artichokes to be sautéed takes some time and patience. Using frozen artichokes would make this dish much easier, but it may not have that same great fresh flavor.|
Four Apples (Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise)
|Some butter and cheese in this dish, but overall not too bad on the healthy scale.|
Four Leaves (Mother Earth Approved)
|The artichokes were organic and local and almost all of the rest of the ingredients were organic.|