There are only 3 frozen vegetables that I buy: spinach, peas, and artichoke bottoms.
Most people are familiar with the first 2 but not everyone knows the third.
Like peas, artichokes are very seasonal (at least they are here). Also, like peas, stripping them down to the part you want to eat can be a bit fussy and leaves one with rather a lot to go on the compost pile.
Artichoke hearts are from smaller artichokes and have a few leaves attached to a small bottom. Artichoke bottoms come from large artichokes and are like shallow bowls. For us it’s the best part of the artichoke.
I was first introduced to them in a French recipe many years ago, when I lived in the U.S. I found them canned and expensive. Here I buy bags of frozen bottoms and they are reasonably priced and easy to find.
You could substitute artichoke hearts in this recipe – or any other vegetable you have lurking in the fridge in need of eating.
I used lamb leftover from the Shoulder of Lamb I made earlier.
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Lamb and Artichoke Bottom Risotto
I have been making risotto often for years. There are 2 things I know:
Risotto is easy – does not require constant stirring… just let it cook.
Risotto is great for using up leftovers – almost anything will work.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- Category: Risotto
- 2/3 cup (4.2oz, 125gr) Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
- 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) dry, white wine
- 2 1/4 cups (18oz, 540ml) chicken stock, may not all be used
- 1/2 onion, chopped, other half for the condimenti
- 1 tbs butter
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese – freshly grated (about 2oz, 60gr)
- 10oz (300gr) lamb, cut into bite-size pieces
- 4 – 6 artichoke bottoms, depending on size, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp parsley
- Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat.
- In medium saucepan heat butter over medium heat.
- Add onion and sauté until transparent.
- Add rice and sauté stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center.
- Add white wine and stir.
- Start condimenti.
- When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/3 cup of stock, stir.
- When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring.
- Before the last 1/3 cup taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked.
- If more stock is needed add it 1/6 cup at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed.
- At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold its shape on a plate.
- Stir in the Parmesan and condimenti, spoon into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately.
- It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be very stiff.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium.
- Add onion and sauté until tender.
- If using raw lamb, add and sauté 2 – 3 minutes longer.
- Add artichoke bottoms, herbs, and 2 – 3 tbs of chicken stock.
- Cover and cook over low heat until artichoke bottoms are done.
- If using leftover cooked lamb, add with artichokes.
Risotto is / stays creamy without adding extra butter or fat if you don’t let it dry out and you do add sufficient liquid. It’s easy!
My artichoke bottoms were raw and they needed about the same amount of time as the rice – so start them together.
Keywords: risotto, lamb, artichoke bottoms
This risotto had a rather interesting color due to the artichoke bottoms.
On another note: I was very rude today.
I’m usually not rude.
We can now go several days without being inundated with marketing calls. They are almost all pushing insulation and they seem to come in clusters. I have even spoken to a few people, telling them that we do not need insulation but that doesn’t stop them. The calls have been going on for a few years.
They normally come to our landline phone number (which is an internet phone) and I usually pick up and hang up without speaking. I can tell it’s a marketing call because I can hear the background noise of the call center – if I actually choose to listen.
Today a call came to my mobile phone. I looked and there was a warning that it could be a telemarketer, but it was just a warning, not ‘verified’.
I answered and got the usual rapid-fire, cheery voice saying my name and proceeding to rattle off information.
I rudely said, in English: ‘Stop! Are you a telemarketer?’ The words weren’t rude but the tone….
At which point she said ‘non, non….’ and went on to explain she was calling to reschedule an appointment I had made.
I apologized; she apologized; she said she understood; we both laughed and sorted out the appointment.
The one time I lose patience and yell at a telemarketer… it isn’t one.