Artichoke Festival: Artichoke Risotto

Velvety smooth artichoke puree enhances this creamy risotto; with a little crunch of frizzled artichoke on top to keep things interesting. This is dangerously, seductively good.

Artichoke risotto
Velvety smooth artichoke puree enhances this creamy risotto; with a little crunch of frizzled artichoke on top to keep things interesting. This is dangerously, seductively good.

Choose tender, medium sized artichokes. Clean the artichoke and remove the inner hairy choke. Reserve one cleaned artichoke for the frizzled artichoke garnish. Keep it the bowl of acidulated water.

Simmer the remaining artichokes in salted, acidulated water until tender. These took about 10 minutes.

While the artichokes are simmering, get the risotto going. Just like you would for any risotto, gently saute the soffrito, toast the rice, use a chicken or vegetable stock, be generous with adding some white wine near the end of the cooking. Full risotto video & instructions here. Soffrito

Drain the artichokes and put them in the blender. Add a good chunk of butter, some grated parmigiana cheese, a generous squirt of fresh lemon juice, and puree until it is very, very smooth. This is where having a Vita Mix blender comes in handy;  it’s a blender on steroids.  Taste the puree and adjust for lemon and salt. If you’ve tasted it four times and you’re dipping back in the for the fifth taste..it’s ready and you’re just making up excuses to keep tasting it. Pureed Artichoke (1)

For the frizzled artichoke garnish:
Paper thinly slice the one artichoke you had set aside. Dust the slices with a 50/50 flour/cornstarch mixture. 
Heat a small pot of oil to about 350F/180C.
Work in small batches, so you don’t drastically lower the oil temperature, fry the artichoke slices.
I usually double fry them for extra crispiness.  If you are going to double fry, then fry the slices for about 60 seconds or until you see some browning and crisping.
Remove and drain on a paper towel.
When you are finished frying the whole batch, make the heat in the oil a little bit hotter, now quickly fry the slices for a second time. Drain and keep warm.

Good to the last bite For finishing the risotto, simply blend in the artichoke puree. It already has all the butter and cheese you would normally use to finish your risotto, so there’s no need to add more. Top with the frizzled artichoke slices and mangia!

This was so good, we nearly licked our plates clean!

Buon’appetito!

Next Up: Artichoke Pie
 

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