Well, that was close.
Like a couple of my fellow conspirators I didn't make this dish when artichokes were fresh and plentiful last spring and summer. I did manage to obtain some a couple of weeks ago at my local supermarket, but they spoiled before I prepared the recipe. I thought I was going to have to used the canned variety, but I got lucky. On my bi-weekly trip into Ottawa on Monday, I stopped into Nicastro's on Merivale Road, and there they were - a lot of artichokes. The recipe calls for 2 large globe artichokes or 4 medium size. The ones available were pretty big to my untrained eye, but I got 4, just to be sure. The other ingredients included potatoes, onions, lemon, parmigiano-reggiano cheese, butter, salt & pepper - see below:
I'm glad I got 4 four artichokes - a lot of the body is discarded when preparing an artichoke for cooking.
I also picked up some ingredients for Bean and Red Cabbage Soup, prepared by Beth last May, which I think will be a great soup to make at this time of year. I managed to get the correct type of sausage (not the type I used three weeks ago in my Pork Sausages with Black-Eyed Peas and Tomatoes recipe), along with pork rind, panchetta and cannellini. I have prepared several recipes ahead of time, mainly from the Vegetables chapter, and I have been looking back over some earlier recipes from others or prepare some of my own for a second or third time. Generally, I do a better job the second time around - not surprising is it?
In fact, I suspect that I cooked it a bit too long - think maybe it came out of the oven a bit darker than it was supposed to. But how would I know for sure? This was my first time with this recipe..
The final result:
What I liked about this recipe:
1. Well, this was the first time I've worked with artichokes - a bit fussy, but interesting - and I enjoyed the novelty of the experience.
2. Another way of making the potato a bit more interesting.
What I didn't I like about this recipe:
Would I make it again?
Yes, but I'll do it when artichokes are in season. I think for the work involved in preparing the artichokes, they should be at their best - although that could be said about any ingredient in any recipe, n'est ce pas?