Risotto takes patience. Let's just get that out in the open. Patience is something that is hard to come by these days, especially in the kitchen. If you are going to attempt at making risotto, give yourself about 35 minutes of cooking time. The outcome will be well worth the wait.
I don't know why people are so afraid of Artichokes. Here in the South, they use them for decoration. What a waste. If they only knew how easy they are to cook, how delicious they are in taste, how good they are for you, perhaps they would eat them. After more than 20 years in the south, they are finally appearing on market shelves, a little more often and in better condition than I have in the past. Is it the spiny leaves?
Here is the recipe that will get you back in the kitchen with no looking back. You will be wanting to attempt other risotto's too. With Spring garden around the corner, the possibilities are endless in the Italian kitchen. Buon Appetito.
Recipe for 4
2 globe artichokes
one tablespoon of salt
6 quarts water to a boil
3 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons diced onion
one clove of garlic diced
one cup of white wine
12 ounces of Arborio rice
Handful of parsley
Additional salt to taste
Parmigiano Reggiano to taste (Optional)
Method: 2 globe artichokes, outer, spiny, leaves removed until you see a more uniformed, yellowish green color. Drop them in some lemon water to cover. Remove the center choke by inserting your knife in a circular motion and cut out. Leave them whole for now and reserve that stem. It has lots of flavor. Peel away the dry leaves until you see a fresh, fleshy part of the stem.
Bring about 6 quarts of water, a tablespoon of salt to a boil and drop your artichokes into the water. Add one clove of garlic and return to a boil Boil for approximately 10 minutes or so until the artichokes soften and deepen in color.
In the meantime, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep pot to accommodate your risotto.
Add 3 tablespoons of diced onion and one clove of garlic. Saute until fragrant, keeping your heat on medium.
Carefully remove your artichokes from the water and spilt them lengthwise. Reserve your water as it will be your cooking liquid.
Add them to the heated oil. Give them a mix. Carefully add your rice. Mix and add your white wine. Continue mixing gently until your liquid is reduced by half. Begin adding your artichoke liquid.
Continue cooking, adding liquid a little at a time. This should take about 25 additional minutes or so.
You want to continue stirring, slowly until your rice expands and creates a creamy, dish. Your liquid should have almost disappeared.
Remove from heat and let rest about 7 minutes or so. You never want to serve risotto right off the heat. It needs to rest.
Artichokes are big on flavor. This is one dish you will be making again and again. Buon Appetito!