We are now back in Umbria for the season and of course the first thing on my list to do (after I unpacked of course) was to visit a local market to buy fresh fava beans and artichokes, my very favorite vegetables. I bought a bag full of tiny baby artichokes that I simply braised in white wine, chicken stock & olive oil, and I also bought some larger ones that I bought with this risotto dish in mind. Artichokes can be quite subtle in flavor, so I find adding some lemon juice and zest really helps to bring out their flavor. This is basically a simple risotto, but the artichokes are simmered in the broth used to cook the rice, and then added in with the rice half way through the cooking period.
To prepare your artichokes, trim the stems, and then peel them back to the inner, pale green leaves. Remove any hairy chokes with a small spoon, and slice thinly. The artichokes should then be immersed in a bowl of lemon water until you need to use them to prevent discoloration. You can also see my step by step instructions on How To Clean An Artichoke. I do realize that not everyone is lucky enough to have fresh artichokes available, and if that is the case, I’d suggest using frozen ones, not the marinated ones in jars or canned ones. Frozen artichokes are already cleaned, so all you need to do is thaw them and slice thinly.
Deborah Mele 2012
The addition of lemon really makes the artichokes sing in this tasty spring risotto.
- 5 – 6 Cups Chicken Broth
- 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
- 1 1/2 Cups Arborio Rice
- 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
- 6 Small Artichokes, Cleaned & Sliced (See Above) 4 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter (2 Tbsp Removed To Finish The Dish)
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Zest & Juice From One Lemon
- 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
- Place the broth in a pot with the artichokes and keep warm.
- Heat the 2 tablespoons of butter, and oil in a heavy saucepan.
- Add the onions and cook until they are translucent.
- Add the rice and stir until it is well coated with the butter.
- Add the white wine, and stir continually over medium heat until it is absorbed.
- Start to add 1/2 cup of hot broth, stirring as it is absorbed.
- Continue in this manner, adding ladles full of hot broth, and stirring continuously for about 10 minutes, then add the artichokes to the pot with the rice as well.
- Continue to add broth ladle full by ladle full for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked, but remains slightly firm to the teeth, and the artichokes are tender.
- Remove from the heat, add the remaining butter, lemon juice, zest, and the Parmesan cheese.
- Stir in the chopped parsley and serve, offering additional cheese if desired.