As a cook it is easy to take parts of a vegetable or protein and discard them. As society and chefs become more aware and respect ingredients more and more we find ways of trying not to waste anything. This is a foundation in most kitchens and cultures. Use everything and don’t throw anything away. In restaurants this is vital to turning a profit especially now more than ever when the competition is so fierce and the industry so heavily populated. I found some beautiful baby artichokes at the farmers market from a farm called tutti frutti in L.A. and the stems where really long, strong, and healthy. When I returned back home and was deciding on what to do with the artichokes I contemplated on taking the time to clean the stems or simply get rid of the them. I cut a thin slice off of the end to see how much of stem was the outer peel and how much of it was the the meat and to my delight the majority of the artichoke stem was meat. I couldn’t bring myself to just toss it in the trash simply because I didn’t want to take a few extra minutes to clean the stems. What resulted was a “new” dish out of “trash”. That is what is really exciting for most chefs is make “something out of nothing”. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!
16 small baby artichokes with stems removed and trimmed carefully
1 cup of white wine
7 cups of water
6 garlic cloves
1 sprig of thyme , 1 bay leaf
1 tbsp salt
1 cup fresh english peas blanched
1 tbsp of butter
1/2 cup of panko crumbs toasted with olive oil
1 lemon zested
For the Baragouile
Take the artichokes and pull off the outer tough leaves of the small artichokes (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 for four artichokes. Cut and remove the stems from the remaining 12 artichokes. 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 pot filled with water, white wine, and 1 lemon juiced. Continue until you have all the artichokes peeled; Then add the rest of the ingredients along with salt to the pot. Take a piece of parchment paper and cut a large 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 simmer, 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 gremolata,
Add a half cup of bread crumbs to a small saute pan. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and mix well. Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Season with salt and set aside to cool.
In a saute pan add some of the barigoule liquid along with the artichoke stems, the four whole ones, and peas. Cook for two minutes and then add 1 tbsp of butter. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Then place the miso-garlic puree down on the plate. Add 5-6 stems on top of the puree. Add one of the whole artichokes next to it. Then add the peas on top of the artichokes stems. Add the gremolata on top and garnish with basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve and enjoy!