Thursday, 10 December 2015

Prepare to Lick Your Fingers

Carciofi con Piselli, Pancetta & Limone
Artichokes with Peas, Bacon & Lemon

Beautiful, young and tender artichokes! What an absolute delight- especially if you prepare them right! As you may have noticed, you are not likely to ever see me preparing artichokes to simply pluck apart and dip into anything- that is just not my style!

I am not used to doing that from "back home" and I always prefer to stuff artichokes in one way or other... and this evening, I did something that was slightly more "other" than usual wink emoticon haha!

Lemon is something that always goes with artichokes- not only because it helps them to retain their green color, but also simply because the fresh and tangy flavor goes with them so well.

And another favorite, typical ingredient to go with them is peas- as that sweetness is also a classic, well-loved and well suited combination. So- what more could I add into that equation that would make sense and help give a better solution? Bacon of course! Savory, slightly smokey and full of seasoning and richness, it was the perfect addition and made these beautiful little artichokes into a real treat!

2 young artichokes, 2 tablespoons of finely diced bacon, 4 tablespoons of frozen peas, 1 Spring onion, 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs, a little fresh parsley, salt, pepper and olive oil- a little Parmesan cheese for grating- the end. That was all it took!

The great thing about these artichokes, which of course is not always the case- was that they still had plenty of the stalks intact... and that they were so young and tender! 

That was the reason that I added this filling, which I enjoyed eating with a knife and fork, along with the stems of the artichokes, before I began plucking the rest apart in the usual way. and of course... after that, there was the reward and the great highlight of the he artichoke heart to enjoy right at the end... what a celebration!

A slightly messy one when it came to eating- I'll give you that... but an absolute celebration of contrasting and complimentary flavors... which I hope you will also enjoy!

I prepared these a little differently than the usual way, in that I began peeling the stalks from the end, toward the petals- but I immediately rubbed the stem with each slice of peel I took off to keep them from discoloring. 

I then cut them in half and removed "choke", as one does, and drizzled them with lemon juice too- and then into my pan they went!

I placed them face-down in a frying pan, added about 1" or so of boiling water, a few slices of lemon and a sprinkle of salt and let them simmer away, with the lid on top for a good 30 minutes.

In the meantime, I simply mixed together the peas, bacon and finely chopped onion, a little finely chopped lemon zest.

I flipped the artichokes over and spooned plenty of filling into the cavity of each , then returned the lid and let them continue cooking and steaming for a further 5 minutes.

Next, came a sprinkle of bread-crumbs over everything and just a little parmesan cheese. I seasoned with salt and pepper, added a good drizzle of olive oil... and then returned the lid once more for a further 5 minutes. 

This made the bread crumbs become moist and made them and the peas and filling of course stick to the artichokes... and the cheese of course helped too!

The final step them was to pop the artichokes into a hot oven, at 220°C for 5 minutes to make them dry out a little and a further 5 minutes under the grill to get everything nice and crispy and golden brown!

Look pretty amazing, don't they? Well fear not! They were pretty amazing, too!!!

It's all there- sweet, tangy, delicious, crispy, succulent and otherwise simply divine! And also- so very importantly... Different!

Crispy on the outside with a moist and flavorful interior... and such a wonderful and rich aroma! You won't mind getting your fingers dirty for this one!

No comments:

Post a Comment