Right now we are getting some beautiful artichokes from JBG and I wanted to come up with a dish that celebrates them.  This dish is nothing more than execution.  If you eat at some of the top restaurants around the world, a lot of it comes down to great ingredients with perfect execution. You can't get any better than fresh, local, organic vegetables. Nothing out of the ordinary, as far as ingredients or the way they are used, it really is straight forward with some love and care.  The fried olives idea comes from Italy which is very typical in the south. This recipe is just a classic combination of Mediterranean flavors presented in a little different fashion. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.  

12 baby artichokes 

4 lemons

1 1/2 cup of white wine

6 cups of water or stock

1/3 cup of olive oil

4 garlic cloves

1 carrot 

1 parsley root

1 bunch of leek tops

2 sprigs of thyme 

2 shallots

salt 

parchment paper

 

Parsley Root Puree

5 large parsley root peeled and chopped

3 tbsp of butter 

5 tbsp of cream

4 tbsp of finely chopped parsley 

salt and pepper to taste

 

8 oz of grape red tomatoes

3 tbsp of olive oil

1 sprig of rosemary

salt and pepper

 

1 cup of castlevetrano olives

1/4 cup of rice flour

1/4 cup of cornstarch

1/3 cup of water

1 cup of panko crumbs

1 1/2 cup of oil for frying

 

For the Baragouile 

Take the artichokes and pull off the outer tough leaves (wearing gloves helps you not to get pricked). Then take a pairing knife, cut off the tops and trim the bottoms of the green outer skin trying to keep the stem intact.  Trim the stems as well of all the green tough skin.  Immediately take one half of a lemon and wipe the artichoke all over to stop the oxidation process.  Place in a bowl of water with 2 cups of water and 1 lemon juiced.  Continue until you have all the artichokes peeled.   Then in a pot on medium low heat add olive oil and artichokes.  Cook for 1-2 minutes without browning then add the wine and water and the rest of the vegetables.   Take your parchment paper and cut a square.  Then fold it over in half and then in half again.  Then fold it diagonally into a triangle.  Then fold two more times continuing the triangle.  Then cut the point of the triangle off and cut around the outer edge to fit the size of the pot. Open the paper up (This is called a Cartouche), the paper should be a round circle that fits inside the pot with a whole in the middle of the paper.  This is basically a lid for the artichokes to keep them submerged under the water.  Bring the pot up to a slowly to up to much to temperature where the water is just barely bubbling.  Cook the artichokes until they are just tender all the way through.  Test the artichoke with a cake tester to check the doneness.  Take off the heat and let the artichokes cool to room temp.  

For the Parsley root puree,

Peel and chop the parsley root keeping care that they are the same size so they cook evenly. Place them in a pot filled with water.  Add salt to the pot and bring to a boil.  Cook for 20 minutes or so until the parsley root is tender all the way through.  Strain off the parsley root and put into a vita mix.  Add butter, cream, and puree until smooth.  Season with salt, pepper, and chopped parsley.  Set aside and keep warm.

For the tomatoes 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a small oven proof pan add grape tomatoes, a sprig of rosemary, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place them in the oven to roast for about 20 minutes.  Take out and keep warm.  

For the olives,

Set up a pot with oil for frying at 350 degrees

Simple mix rice flour and cornstarch in a bowl.  Add salt and water to make a smooth semi-thick batter.   Add the olives to the batter and then into a bowl of panko crumbs.  Continue until you have all the olives breaded.  Then in small batches fry the olives until golden brown (about 1-2 minutes.) Strain out the olives onto a paper towel and season very lightly with salt if need be.  Repeat until all are fried.  Keep warm.

To finish.  

Take 2 tbsp of of the baragouile and place in a sauté pan and bring to a boil  and then whisk in butter to make a buerre monte.  Then add the artichokes to the buerre monte and cook for 3 minutes on the lowest heat just to warm through.  Season with salt and pepper if need be.  Then using a ring mold spoon a few spoonfuls of parsley root puree and spread evenly on the plate.  Add the artichokes around the puree.  Add the fried olives and roasted tomatoes.  Spoon a little extra buerre monte around the vegetables.  Finish with parsley and chives flowers to garnish.  Serve and enjoy!

 


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