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STEWED ARTICHOKES

 

European Peasant Cookery
by Elisabeth Luard
Ragoût d'artichaut (France)

One of the slow-cooked Provençal vegetable dishes which were taken to the baker's oven to take advantage of the residual heat after the day's bread baking was done.
Quantity: Serves 4
Time: Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 1¼ hours


Ingredients

• 12 artichokes
• 1 mature onion or 2 fresh white new-season onions
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• Thyme, rosemary and bay leaf
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 1/4 pint dry white wine
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• Salt and pepper

Utensils: A shallow stew pan which will allow you to cook the artichokes in a single layer


Directions

With a small sharp knife, trim the tough outer leaves of the artichokes right down to their edible parts and nick out the furry bit in the middle - the choke - leaving the tender heart only. If the artichokes are on the large side, it's easier to cut them in quarters first. Peel and finely chop the onion.

Warm the oil in the pan and fry the onions gently — let them soften without browning, and then add the artichoke hearts and the herbs. Cook all together gently until the vegetables are impregnated with the oil. Then add the lemon juice, wine, a little sugar, salt and pepper. Lid tightly and cook very gently for 1¼ hours.

Serve the artichokes on their own - perhaps to follow (or precede) a small shoulder of lamb slowly pot roasted at the same time. Sprinkle the tender little joint with rosemary, and shove in a clove or two of garlic near the bone before you put it in a lidded casserole to roast in its own juices. A glass of white wine poured round it will keep it deliciously moist.
 

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