About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Gratin of Artichokes | Main | Artichoke Torta in a Flaky Crust »

Gratin of Artichokes, Potatoes and Onions

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:

No problems.

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?

Comments (1)

Marcella Hazan:

How nice Doug that your first experience with artichokes was a good one. It's a vegetable with perhaps the most elegant flavor and if you learn to trim it well, there is an infinitude of recipes it lends itself to.

I don't think your gratin was overcooked. It's hard to overcook a gratin, unless you actually char it. It's a matter of taste, but I really like the dark parts. Unfortunately, Victor usually gets to them before I do.

Thank you for keeping faith with me this past year. I wish you and your family and your splendid grandson a wonderful new year and I hope your garden will thrive.

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