Stuffed Artichokes

23 03 2011

These artichokes were the last thing I was able to eat before my body wildy descended into being ravaged by The Flu. And that is where I sit now. Couch-ridden. Finally able to sit up enough to wield a laptop. I’m one who rarely gets sick. I know a lot of people say that, but it’s true! I never get sick. I get hungover, I have asthma sometimes, but I never get sick enough to wake up in the middle of the night, shaking, not sure whether my nightmares are real or not. But here we are.

Thankfully, I was able to stay conscious through dinner and enjoy a giant stuffed artichoke with potato and onion gratin on the side. They’re an effort to get through, but worth every bite. Every creamy, lemon-laced bite. It’s like eating a huge blooming flower. Stuffed with ricotta! How the hell could I have gotten sick after such a satisfying dinner?? Oh well, I’ll retreat back into my blankets now.

Here’s Che during his heroin binge.

Stuffed Artichokes
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking: A Commonsense Guide

1/4 cup sliced almonds
Juice of 1 lemon
4 artichokes
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 tbs. flat-leaf parsley, minced
1 tb. olive oil
1 1/2 oz. butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350. And bake the almonds on a baking sheet for about 5 minutes, until lightly golden. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn!

2. Remove any tought outer leaves from the artichokes. Cut across the artichoke, about 1 1/4 inches from the top, then trim the stalks, leaving about 1/4 in. attached.

3. Combine the almonds, ricotta, garlic, breadcrumbs, lemon zest, Parmesan and parsley in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Gently separate the artichoke leaves and push the filling in between them.

4. Place the artichokes in a steamer and drizzle with the olive oil. Steam for 25-30 minutes, or until tender. Remove and cook under a broiler for about 5 minutes to brown the filling.

5. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Arrange the artichokes on a serving platter, drizzle with the lemon butter, season well and serve.

Linguine with Basil-Cilantro Pesto and Artichokes

13 01 2011



We’ve moved in to the new house! It came with a giant cat and a giant kitchen. I love it and will upload some pictures shortly.

So one of my ways of balancing meals while living with an omnivore is to let him pick a recipe that sounds good for both of us out of one of my cookbooks. He chose this one and I damn near died. Cilantro. I want to go on a cilantro murder spree. Uprooting plants, digging my heels into the dirt, laughing maniacally. Hate it hate it hate it. But I didn’t want to spend forever scrounging through more recipes, so I settled. Bought cilantro. And on the verge of puking, made a pesto out of it.

Then I got the biggest shock of my life. I liked it. I fucking looooved it. It’s not overly cilantro-ish. It’s creamy and fresh-tasting. And mixed with the sweet onions and salty artichokes, this recipe is absolutely crave-able. So fuck you cilantro. You mess with my head.

Linguine with Basil-Cilantro Pesto & Artichokes
Adapted from Veganomicon

1/2 lb. linguine (I used spinach linguine)
2 tbs. olive oil
1 red onion, cut into thin half-moons
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tbs. water
1/2 tsp. salt
Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
1 recipe Basil-Cilantro Pesto (see below)
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and cut into quarters (don’t use the kind that comes in oil. Just the plain tin cans in brine work fine)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta. Once you’ve added the pasta to the water, proceed with the recipe.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute the onion in the olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for a minute more. Add the water, salt and pepper and cook for another minute or two. Lower the heat. At this point, the pasta should be done. Don’t drain it. Use a set of tongs to transfer it to the pan in batches. This works better because you can use the pasta water to thin out the pesto. When you add a batch of pasta, add a bit of pesto too, and stir to coat, adding splashes of pasta water if neccesary.

Add the artichoke hearts and toss to coat. Cook over low heat for about 3 minutes, or until the artichokes are heated through. Serve!

Basil-Cilantro Pesto

2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
1/3 cup slivered almonds or walnut pieces
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tbs. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup olive oil

Place the basil, cilantro, nuts, garlic, lemon, and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until pasty, scraping down the sides as you go. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and blend until smooth.