Saturday, May 17, 2014

Artichoke Au Gratin

I don't know what it is, but I find the older I have gotten, the more and more I love me some veggies.  I'm thinking it's because I generally don't use the kind that come in canned form anymore... but I can't be sure.  Regardless, I definitely taken to using vegetables in a main dish because sometimes, they can be better than meat (gasp! did I just say that aloud!?!).

Here's a great recipe for artichoke au gratin that you can serve as a side dish with ham or fish, or serve as a main dish with some bread and a bean salad.  (the recipe is based off of the cookbook Plenty)

3 8oz bags of frozen artichoke hearts
2 yellow onions
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tsp of dried thyme
6 tbsp. of fresh parsley
4 tbsp. of butter
1/3 cup of flour
1 cup of water
1 cup of milk
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese

1.  Thinly slice the onions with a mandolin (or very thinly with a knife).  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Boil a pot of water over high heat.  Add the frozen artichokes and simmer for about three minutes.  Drain artichokes.

2.  In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and onions, sprinkling with salt and pepper.  Saut√© onions 6-8 minutes until tender.  Add the thyme and parsley, cook with onions for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. 

3.  Add the artichokes to the onion mixture and cook for one minute.  Remove from heat and set aside.

4.  In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour to make a smooth paste and cook for about 2 minutes, whisking to not brown.  Mix the water and milk together and slowly whisk into the flour paste 1/4 of a cup at a time. Continue to whisk on low heat for about 8-10 minutes until thick and creamy.

5.  Add the sauce to the artichoke mixture.  Butter a large casserole dish and add the artichoke mixture.

6.  Sprinkle the dish with parmesan cheese and drop in large spoonfuls of the ricotta in the artichoke mix around the dish.  Cover with foil.

7.  Bake in the oven covered with foil for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil, increase oven temperature to 400 degrees and cook for 15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden.  Serve immediately.

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