Braised artichokes with ricotta and herb salad

Braised artichokes with sheepsmilk ricotta and herb salad
Serves 4 as an appetizer

Ingredients:

  • 6 small artichokes or 4 medium artichokes
  • Splash of wine vinegar
  • 2 stalks of green garlic or 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs of winter savory or thyme
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2 small handfuls of mixed soft herbs such as: chervil, Italian parsley, chives, mint or young oregano
  • 2 handfuls of mixed peppery greens such as: watercress, peppercress or arugula
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cups of sheepsmilk ricotta
  • Pepper
Method:
  1. Pare the artichokes down to their hearts. Cut off the tips of the leaves.

  2. Cut in half and scoop out any choke that might be inside (some smaller artichokes have no choke).

  3. If the artichokes are quite small place them in water acidulated with a splash of vinegar until ready to cook. If the artichokes are large cut them into quarters or sixths then place them in acidulated water.

  4. Slice the white and pale green parts of the green garlic into ¼ inch slices.

  5. Place the artichoke pieces into a small pot and add enough water to cover 2/3 of the artichokes. Add the garlic, bay leaf, savory, four tablespoons of olive oil and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and continue to cook- stirring often.

  6. The trick is to get the artichokes tender and have the cooking water reduce at the same time. If the artichokes are getting soft and there is a lot of liquid turn up the heat to reduce the water.

  7. If the artichokes are still quite firm but there is no water left- add a bit of water. When the artichokes are done, let them cool in the remaining liquid, it should be quite flavorful at this point.

  8. If the ricotta is firm cut it into 4 pieces and place the cheese on individual plates. If the cheese is soft just scoop a portion onto each plate. Place some artichokes and a bit of their cooking liquid next to the cheese.

  9. Toss the herbs and salad greens with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, a good squeeze of lemon and some salt and black pepper. Put a pile of greens on the plate next to the cheese and artichokes.
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About Russell Moore:

Russell Moore was born in 1963 and spent his childhood in Los Angeles, where he encountered a bewildering variety of cuisines that piqued his interest in food.

In 1985 he began to work with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse, cooking both the café and the restaurant. In 1996 he started to collaborate with suppliers to create the daily lunch and dinner menus for the café, acting as a spokesperson for Chez Panisse's stance on sustainable food sourcing.

In 2008 Moore opened his own restaurant, Camino, in Oakland, CA, where the daily specials are cooked on the restaurant's large, open fireplace. Moore's menu explores the boundaries of this method and his produce purchasing policy to create hearty yet sensitive dishes.

Offerings such as zingy eggplant gratin served with egg and polenta, a wood-oven-roasted sea bass with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and yogurt, or a perfect cherry tart make Camino's menu both approachable and flawless.

Camino Restaurant
3917 Grand Avenue
Oakland, CA 94610-1005
Phone: (510) 547-5035
Website: www.caminorestaurant.com

>> Buy this book on Amazon: Coco: 10 World-Leading Masters Choose 100 Contemporary Chefs

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