Sunday, May 9, 2010

Artichoke Frittata

Barnacle Bill and I LOVE artichokes.  It is one of the very few vegetables that we will buy, regardless of origins.  Seriously, we are artichoke addicts.  One year, just after Thanksgiving, we bought a case of artichokes.  The price was right, around $10 for 30 artichokes. We cleaned, steamed, marinated and froze them.  It was a satisfying project that kept us happily feasting on 'chokes through the winter.

A couple of years ago we went to California in November. We ate artichokes to our hearts content: in soup, in bread, in salads. For breakfast the day we left the Central Coast, we had artichoke omelets at Duarte's Tavern in Pescadero, CA. They were amazing: a tender crepelike omelets folded around a pile of sliced al dente artichoke hearts and mozzarella cheese.
This week we went a little crazy.  On Wednesday, we bought 4 normal artichokes.  On Thursday, during a rare stop at Whole Foods, we were tempted by 2 lovely long stemmed King artichokes.  I will ask Bill to take a photo: my photography skills will not do them justice.

Anyway, inspired by the memory of a great vacation, Swapbot Baking and a fridge full of beautiful 'chokes, I made frittata for breakfast.

Arichoke Frittata

4 large artichokes
1 lemon

4 eggs
2 oz cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoonful chopped garlic
salt and pepper

Up to five days in advance:
Trim the tops of the artichokes, and peel the stems with a vegetable peeler.  Place them upside down in a in a pressure cooker on and squeeze lemon juice over all.  Sprinkle with salt, and add water to cover the tops of the 'chokes.  Bring pressure cooker up to full pressure, and cook 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool naturally.  Place in a container and store for up to 5 days.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Clean the artichokes by pulling off the outer leaves, and removing the choke.  Slice the hearts and stems. Heat a cast iron skillet on the stove.  Whisk eggs, salt and garlic in a bowl, gently fold in 'chokes and cheddar.  When the skillet is hot, add oil, then add egg mixture to the skillet in the oven.  Bake 20 - 25 minutes or until the frittata is puffed and brown.

What I Learned
The pressure cooker is an excellent way to cook artichokes.  It is energy efficient and much quicker than boiling or steaming.  Using a crockpot is also a timesaver.  Prep as you would for the pressure cooker, but put in your crockpot on high for 4 hours.   The outer leaves will retain a little bit of artichoke heart: save them to serve with dip.

No comments:

Post a Comment