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Artichoke Risotto with Gremolata

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

When artichokes are in season during the spring and fall, this artichoke risotto is just the thing to make. This flavorful vegetarian, gluten free dish is topped off with a punchy gremolata and crispy fried artichoke slices.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Baby Artichokes, Divided (7-8 Artichokes)
  • 2 whole Lemons
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, Divided
  • ½ whole Medium Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 1 cup Arborio Rice
  • ½ cups Dry White Wine
  • 3 cups Homemade Broth Per Recipe, Or Store-bought Vegetable Or Chicken Broth
  • ½ cups Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, Freshly Grated
  • ½ cups Vegetable Or Peanut Oil For Frying
  • 2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour For Dredging
  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • ½ whole Medium Onion
  • 2 whole Carrots, Cut Into 2 Inch Lengths
  • 2 whole Stalks Celery, Cut Into 2 Inch Lengths
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Lightly Smashed
  • 5 slices Dried Mushrooms, Such As Porcini (optional)
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Parsley
  • 2 whole Bay Leaves
  • 3 whole Cloves
  • ½ teaspoons Whole Black Peppercorns
  • ¼ cups Finely Chopped Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
  • 1 clove Garlic

Preparation

Fill a medium-sized bowl with cold water. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest of 1 lemon in wide strips and reserve for gremolata. Slice lemons in half. Squeeze juice of all lemons into water, reserving some juice in 1 lemon half. Place 3 lemon halves in the water. Set aside 2 of the artichokes to clean separately later for frying. Using a paring knife, remove leaves of the artichoke until you reach the light yellow center leaves. Trim bottom of stem and peel outer layer of stem. Cut off top ¼ of artichoke. Rub top and bottom of artichoke into reserved lemon half and add to lemon water. Repeat with remaining artichokes. This can be done 1 day in advance and stored in lemon water.

Heat a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add oil followed by onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Stir in cloves and peppercorns. Pour in 5 cups of water. Add in dried mushrooms, parsley and bay leaves. Add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 1 hour. Strain and season with salt to taste. You can eat the boiled vegetables from the broth. If the remaining liquid is less than 3 cups, add enough water to make 3 cups. Transfer back to pot and keep warm. Broth can be made several days in advance.

While broth is cooking, slice reserved strips of lemon zest into very thin, long strips. Cut in opposite direction to finely mince. Slice garlic into thin rounds. Slice into very thin strips. Cut in opposite direction to finely mince. Stir together chopped parsley, lemon and garlic. Season with a pinch of salt. Cover and store in fridge until ready to use. Gremolata can be made 1 day in advance.

While broth continues to cook, heat a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add oil, followed by chopped onions. Season with salt. Sauté about 15 minutes or until softened and sweet, lowering heat as needed to prevent browning. Remove artichokes from water. Slice in quarters lengthwise. Add to onions along with 2 tablespoons of butter. Season with salt. Sauté over medium-low heat for 12-15 minutes or until tender but not completely cooked through. Add rice and toast over medium heat for about 3 minutes. This step can be done a couple hours in advance and kept on the stove top covered at room temperature.

Heat 1 inch of vegetable oil in a small pot over medium heat. Line a large plate with paper towels. Add a few tablespoons of flour to a small plate. Peel and trim remaining 2 artichokes. Do not soak in lemon water. Immediately, slice thinly on mandolin. Lightly dredge in flour. Fry in preheated oil for about 2-4 minutes or until crispy and browned. Remove using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season with salt. Cook in batches as needed. Do this right before adding liquid to rice or while risotto is cooking, but no earlier.

Bring stock to a simmer. Add wine to artichoke/rice mixture and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Add in a couple ladlefuls of stock or enough to just cover the rice. Stir every 4-5 minutes, adding additional stock as needed. Cook for a total of 14-18 minutes or until rice is tender with a slight bite.

Off heat, add cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir vigorously while quickly rotating the pan in a circular motion. Add additional stock, as needed, and continue to stir until mixture is creamy and emulsified. The risotto should be somewhat loose. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed. Divide risotto among serving dishes. Garnish with gremolata and fried artichoke slices. Enjoy.

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