Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Long-Stem Purple Artichokes

I was thrilled as a matzo ball in butter to find these bodacious long-stemmed purple artichokes at the supermarket, and really, I wanted very much to make something that would show off their most excellent stemminess. I was thinking of maybe splitting them down the middle and filling the choke-cavity with maybe a walnut, leek, and Parmegiano-Reggiano stuffing, or trying to make the artichokes in champagne sauce pictured below. This is a detail of a photo is from Art Culinaire 26 (Fall 1992). The recipe for artichokes cooked in champagne and served with a champagne sabayon is by Mark Franz.
If the there is a photo-credit anywhere, I could not find it. Thank you, mystery photographer! This recipe has been haunting me since 1992, and I really wanted to make it, but it was the middle of Peysekh, and I was just all in. I’ll try again next year.

What I did make was this very comforting matzo pie with leeks and artichokes. I would want to eat this at anytime of year.

Artichoke and Leek Matzo Pie

Edible parts from 2 or 3 large artichokes: hearts, cores of the stems, whatever you can scrape off the leaves
4 matzos (generous 4 ounces)
5 leeks
Olive oil
A few sprigs parsley (about 2 tablespoons minced)
1 bunch of dill (a scant cup, minced)
8 eggs, extra large
1 package (7 ½ ounces) farmer cheese
½ pound syrian cheese (or muenster or feta work well)
salt, black pepper, paprika

If you are starting with whole artichokes, wash the artichokes and cook them until tender, about forty minutes. Pull off the leaves and use a spoon to scrape the succulent bits of pulp off the leaves. Scrape fuzz off the heart, and cut the heart into small pieces. Pell the rough skin from the stems and cut up the stems. Break up the matzos and place them in a colander. Pour boiling water over the matzos and allow them to drain. Press them a little to express excess water, but don't wring them out. Slice the leeks into thin circles and submerge the circles in water to rinse out all particles of remaining sand. Heat oil in a skillet and cook the leeks until tender. Add the artichoke bits and cook a few minutes more. Allow the vegetables to cool slightly. Beat together the eggs, herbs, cheeses and seasonings. Add the matzo and cooked vegetables. Turn the batter into an oiled baking pan or the skillet in which you cooked the vegetables, and bake in a moderate oven for about 40 minutes.

See Sweetnicks for other anti-oxidant offerings.

איך שמעלץ זיך װי אַ קנײדל אין פּוטער
I am melting like a matzo ball in butter; I am utterly delighted

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Blogger Cate said...

Gorgeous picture!

8:43 PM  
Anonymous lindy said...

2 gorgeous pictures. Artichokes are so grand-simulateously lush and architectural to look at, subtle and luxurious to eat. The stems taste like the hearts; I wonder why they are usually cut so short?

3:13 AM  
Blogger Melissa CookingDiva said...

Just beautiful!!!! A big hug from Panama :)

1:47 PM  

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