Artichoke, Leek, and Mushroom Ragout
Total Time: 90
Yield: 8 to 12 servings
Ingredients:1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium-size white onion, diced
1 garlic bulb, skin on, top third discarded
1 tablespoon fennel seed
2 bay leaves
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 globe artichokes
1 bunch cleaned leeks, white parts only, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 pounds wild or domestic mushrooms, cleaned and cut into large chunks
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Instructions:In a medium-size skillet over medium heat, combine 1/4 cup oil, onion, garlic bulb, fennel seed, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper and cook until onions are tender, 5—7 minutes. Remove from heat while you trim artichokes.
When artichokes are trimmed, place them in pan with onion mixture. Add water to cover and season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Add lemons, cover, and cook over medium-low heat until tender when pierced with a skewer, 20—30 minutes.
In a separate pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add leeks, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer leeks to a plate and wipe the pan with a paper towel. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pan and raise heat to high. Add half the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender, about 5
minutes. Transfer to the plate with leeks. Repeat with remaining mushrooms.
Meanwhile, when artichokes are done, transfer to a plate, discarding lemons and bay leaves. Squeeze cooked garlic into the pan, discarding the skin. Bring liquid to a boil and cook over high heat about 10 minutes, or until liquid has reduced to about 1/4 cup. Set aside.
To serve, combine artichokes, leeks, and mushrooms in a bowl. Toss well. Add reserved onion/garlic mixture, prosciutto, and chopped thyme. Toss well; season with salt and pepper if you like.
Additional Notes:How to Prepare Artichokes:
Cut lemons in half; set aside. Lay the first artichoke on its side and cut across the top 1 or 2 inches (the top quarter of the artichoke is mostly prickly leaf ends). Rub the trimmed leaves with lemon. Gently snap or cut back the tough upper portion of each outer leaf, leaving the meaty part of the leaf still attached. Continue working down the artichoke until remaining leaves are pale green and tender. Trim the tough skin around the base of the artichoke. Pare the skin off the stem and trim the tip. Rub the entire artichoke with lemon. Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise and remove the choke, the thistle-like prickly center. Rub the halves completely with lemon.