Risotto with Preserved Artichoke Hearts

summary: preserved artichoke hearts aren’t just for pizza; comforting food; Facebook is cramping my style; the wonders of sarafino olive oil; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

After a wonderful holiday, I’m finding it difficult to get back into the swing of things. I’ve only managed to fool around on that evil site, Facebook…. Two of my favourite groups are Monday Morning Haikus and Tuesday Morning Limericks. Each week they have a theme and this week’s theme for both is “things that make us feel better”:

Eggs Florentine (ish)Monday Morning Haiku Club:

We need some comfort
from the January blahs.
I know – Hollandaise!

Turn on the toaster
Put some water on to boil
Get some spinach too

(Eggs Florentine)

No oozy eggs here!
Why, that would be revolting.
Hard boiled ev’ry time

Tuesday Morning Limerick Club:

Emptiness left after holidays –
There’s a curious sense of malaise.
Eggs to the rescue
Whisk lemon in too!
Everything’s better with Hollandaise!

-me, FB groups, 7, 9 January 2013

And of course, everything IS better with Hollandaise. On Monday morning, we had the most wonderful eggs Florentine. Did we take photos? Of course not. :stomp: :stomp: We were too busy making ourselves feel better.

risotto with artichokes This risotto made us feel better too. We made our usual risotto with chicken stock and reconstituted dried porcini mushrooms and then added some preserved artichoke hearts. A scattering of chopped parsley didn’t add much flavour but made it pretty.

We gilded the lily by drizzling the risotto with the most amazing fruity olive oil from Calabria.

L’Aspromontano Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Balanced. Delicate tones of ripe and dried fruit on an herbaceous base. Smooth & buttery with a sweet almond finish. Great body!

sarafino.com Extra-Virgin olive oil

risotto One of the members of the family from the Fazari Family estate had set up a stand at our local supermarket. There was an array of the various kinds of olive oil they sell. And samples to taste. We talked with the enthusiastic fellow for quite a time. He told us about the health benefits, how the oil was pressed, what “extra-virgin” does and doesn’t mean, the horrors of no real standards (apparently, some Italian olive oil companies have been fined for adulterating their supposedly 100% olive oil with other seed and/or vegetable oils).

And then we tasted the olive oils. Wow! Who knew they could be so different. One was slightly grassy. Another was peppery and fruity. Another was citrusy and somewhat bitter at the same time. Another was delicate and light.

We had to buy a bottle. It took ages to choose….

L’Aspromontano olive oil was a delicious addition to our risotto but almost too intense for the delicate flavour of the artichokes. In fact, as much as we liked the idea of using the artichokes for something other than pizza, we might be reserving the rest of the artichoke hearts for just that. Maybe.

Then again, maybe we need to try this risotto one more time.

risotto We served the risotto with baked chicken, steamed broccoli and oven-roasted multi-coloured carrots – red, orange and white. We loved the different colours! Each one tasted pretty much like a regular orange carrot. Although the white ones had a tiny hint of parsnip flavour.

Normally, I’m not a big fan of cooked carrots but oven-roasted carrots are changing my mind. I love how the oven roasting caramelizes the carrots.

Yes, indeed. This dinner sure made us feel better.

We love feeling better. :-)

Hmmmm, what shall we have today to make us feel so much better that I’ll get the energy to tackle putting the rest of the Christmas decorations away?

And speaking of energy sapping things, a few months ago, my webhost had to do an emergency transfer of EVERYONE’S files to a different server. They were pretty sure that nothing was lost. And they were mostly right. Alas, some of the transferred images were only half loaded. When I was looking for other posts about risotto, I found yet another broken image. Sigh… Maybe I’ve found them all now. :lalala:

 

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  • http://thymeforcookingblog.com Katie

    Anything goes with risotto! I haven’t made Eggs Florentine (with runny eggs) in yonks. Must do that…. Maybe fry the leftover Christmas ham….

    Of course, you’re right, Katie! Everything goes with risotto. :-) And good idea to use leftover Christmas ham in the Eggs Florentine. That’s what we did. -Elizabeth