When I go out, the spring vegetables are so exhilarating to look at that I get the big desire to go home with crates and crates of everything I see. But I can't. My kids will have a demonstration at home to put a stop to Mommy's vegetable frenzy. For now, I satisfied myself with a bunch of beautiful big artichokes. I used some to cook as side dish to a meat dish and the rest for risotto ai carciofi that I added some pistachios to.
Risotto ai Carciofi & Pistacchi (Artichokes & Pistachios)
- 4 big artichokes, chopped into strips
- 250 g. Arborio rice or any similar kind
- 1 garlic, crushed
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
- knob of butter
- salt & pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 liter hot vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped coarsely
- 1 lemon
- 250 ml. or 1 cup white wine
- Prepare a deep bowl filled with water. Cut the lemon in half. Squeeze the juice of one-half lemon in the water. Put the squeezed lemon in the water too.
- Clean artichokes by taking away the tough outer leaves. Leave only about 5 cm. of the stem. Rub the cleaned artichoke with the other half of the lemon to avoid discoloration. Put the cleaned artichokes in the lemon water.
- Boil a pot of vegetable broth.
- In another pot, saute' garlic & scallion in extra virgin olive oil. When they start to color, add artichokes. Toast for about 3 minutes then add a cup of water. Cover and simmer until water is reduced to a tenth of its original volume, about 10 - 15 minutes. Discard garlic.
- Add the rice. Toast for 3 minutes.
- Put the flame higher and add the wine. When the wine evaporates, put the flame down again.
- Ladle the broth to the risotto little by little and stir frequently so that the rice doesn't stick to the sides.
- Add the pistachios halfway through cooking.
- Turn off fire when you see that the rice is already al dente. Add a knob of butter. Add parmigiano reggiano.
- Serve hot or warm.