I love artichokes and I love risotto, so why not combine them? I couldn’t think of a good reason not to, either. This is one of the first recipes I created many years ago when I was doing research on authentic Italian cuisine and I perfected it during one of the tours I hosted while in Italy. Enjoy!
4 globe artichokes, cut in half
Juice of 4 large lemons
Water and salt
3 cups of veggie stock
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3/4 cup of Arborio or Vialone Nano rice
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of white wine like pinot grigio
1/2 cup of cooked cannellini beans, rinsed
8 sundried tomatoes, sliced thin
Salt to taste
Remove the top half of the artichokes and place them face down in a large pot. If the artichokes have a stem, leave that on them because it makes the artichokes easier to remove from the pot. Add enough water to the pot to completely cover the artichokes, then add the lemon juice and about 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring the water to a boil and simmer the artichokes for about 40 minutes. Once they are done, scoop out the choke being careful not to scoop out the heart.
“This is a great way to make artichokes, regardless if you’re going to stuff them or not. The salted water and lemon juice creates a light brine, giving them artichokes a great flavor.”
While the artichokes are boiling make the risotto. Set the veggie stock on a burner next to your risotto pot and warm the stock to the point where it is steaming, but not boiling and keep it at that temperature. In your risotto pot, heat the olive oil to medium heat and add the rice. Toast the rice by slowly stirring it for about 3 minutes. Transfer it from the pot to a bowl and set it aside.
“I make my risotto in an enamel pan. The enamel is ideal for keeping the risotto from sticking and evenly cooking the rice. Toasting the rice in oil not only develops a nutty, rich flavor, but the oil keeps the rice from absorbing the stock too quickly.”
Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the pot, then add the onion. Cook this until it is just translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the rice back to the pot along with the white wine. Slowly stir this until the rice absorbs most, but not all of the wine. Ladle 1 cup of veggie stock into the pot, slowly stirring the rice until it absorbs most, but not all of the liquid. Repeat until the rice is al dente and immediately remove it from the heat. Note that you will probably not use all the stock, but it’s better to have some left over than not enough.
“Risotto is made creamy by knocking the amylopectin starch from the rice into the simmering liquid, so the longer you can stir the rice, the creamier the risotto will be.”
Stir in the beans and sundried tomatoes and salt the risotto to taste. Stuff the artichokes with the risotto and serve.
“I also love to use rehydrated porcini with this recipe, but if I do, I cut the sundried tomatoes down to about a third so they don’t overpower the mushrooms”
Large Pot for the artichokes
Pot or Pan for the risotto
Pot for the stock