April 16, 2009

Steamed Artichokes on a Bed of Agretti-Fregola


Our CSA decided we should experiment with Agretti this week.

I must admit. I was not too excited. E is difficult enough when it comes to dark leafy greens. But just dark and green, no leaves? I was fairly certain he would not be happy.

Imagine my surprise when tonight's dinner turned out as well as it did.

If you find yourself with this eclectic collection of ingredients, enjoy!

-2 large artichokes, washed and stems cut off so the bottom is flat (earned by finishing the Artichoke Half Mararthon and the fact that E2 registered and paid but was too sick to participate).
-1 small bunch baby shallots (4 or so, each less than 1/2 inch in diameter at the widest point)
-3 cloves garlic
-1 lb. agretti
-8 oz. Fregola
-2 T dijon mustard
-2 T butter
-1 meyer lemon
-3 T olive oil (or so)
-4-5 strands fresh thyme, leaves removed

1. Dice the white and red portions of the shallots and the garlic cloves. Toss in a pot that has a tight cover available for later use and top with olive oil. Sautée on medium heat.

2. Add artichokes and place on the bottom of the pan, flat (stem-removed side down). Add 2 C water, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

3. Add fregola and thyme to the water. Add water 'til fregola is covered by at least an addition 3/4 inch of water. Stir briefly and return to a simmer. Cover and cook for another 20 minutes on medium-heat.

4. Remove from heat and remove the cover. With kitchen scissors, slice agretti and shallot tops into 1 cm segments over fregola.

5. Remove artichokes from the pot, place in serving bowls, and stir the fregola with the agretti and shallot greens to allow the greens to soften.

6. As the greens steam in the pot with the fregola, microwave the lemon juice, the butter, and the mustard for 2 minutes. Stir.

7. Plate the fregola salad around the artichokes. Pour the lemon-butter-mustard sauce over the artichokes and around them on the salad.

8. Serve immediately with a plate to toss the un-eaten portions of the artichoke leaves (which can be used to scrape up fregola salad as well as sauce).


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