04 May

Baby Artichokes Provencal

18 baby artichokes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into small dice
3 leeks (white part and 3 inches green), well rinsed, dried, and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 ounces Montrachet or other soft mild chevre
Black Olives Nicoise Style (garnish)

Cut the stem and 1/4 inch of the top from each artichoke. Trim the tough outer leaves with a scissors. Heat the oil in a saucepan large enough to hold all the artichokes upright over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, leeks, and garlic and saute, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and lots of black pepper. Place the artichokes upright on the bed of vegetables and pour in the wine. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the tops of the artichokes. Cover the pan and simmer over medium low heat for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Remove the artichokes from the vegetables and set aside. Crumble the chevre into the vegetable mixture and fold gently together. Spoon the vegetable mixture onto a platter or 6 individual serving plates. Arrange the artichokes on top of the vegetables, spooning a few vegetables over the tops. If you are serving on plates, allow 3 artichokes per serving. Garnish with olives and serve at room temperature.

Yield: 6 servings