Wild Spring Morels and Baby Artichokes with Herb Blossoms

Serves: 4

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vegetarian iconVegetarian vegan iconVegan corn-free iconCorn-free egg-free iconEgg-free gluten-free iconGluten-free peanut-free iconPeanut-free soy-free iconSoy-free tree nut-free iconTree nut-free wheat-free iconWheat-free

These dishes reflect the traditions and resources of the Provence region of France. The pastis, suggested in the recipe, is THE quintessential drink for most family social events in the Provence region. (It's faintly anise flavored.) Luckily, we're able to celebrate these flavors with our families using products from our own region. Look for local morels, northern California artichokes and PCC's fine artisan cheese makers for incredible chevres. (I recommend the Port Madison goat cheeses!)

Ingredients

Preparation

With a soft brush, clean the morels of any pine needles or other debris. Cut each in half lengthwise and set aside.

With a sharp paring knife, trim off the outer leaves of the baby artichokes to expose just the compact tender center leaves. Cut off 1/2 inch at the top of the artichoke and trim the stem to 1/2 inch also, peeling away any rough flesh. Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise and with the tip of the knife, carefully remove the small furry core (or choke) leaving the young leaves attached to the heart and the small length of tender stem. Rub all the exposed surfaces with lemon.

If the tomatoes are larger than bite-sized, cut them in half and set aside. You may peel them instead, if you wish a finer presentation. (See note below.)

In a heavy sauté pan or Dutch oven with a lid, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat and add the artichokes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly tender. Add the morels and the garlic. Stir to heat well. Remove any excess fat from the pan at this time

Pour in the pastis, or cognac, and allow it to simmer for one minute to cook out the alcohol, or carefully flame it, if you desire. Add the vegetable broth, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan and allow the mixture to cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until the artichokes are fork tender.

Remove the lid and stir in the cold butter to lightly glaze the mixture. Add the tomatoes, basil, herb blossoms and the salt and pepper to taste. Stir just to heat through and serve, garnished with additional blossoms.

Notes

To peel tomatoes, drop them into boiling water for 5 to 15 seconds, (the riper they are, the shorter the time), remove them to ice water and allow to sit for a few seconds. Aided by a little paring knife, their skins should come off easily.

Recipe by Lynne Vea, PCC Chef

Lynne Vea

ABOUT OUR CHEF: Lynne Vea

Lynne Vea is a graduate of the Executive Chef Program at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris and has been cooking with PCC Natural Markets since 2001. Featured on King-5’s "Gardening with Ciscoe," she demonstrates easy and delicious recipes using seasonal ingredients.

Lynne is an admired PCC Cooks instructor, teaching a variety of popular PCC Cooks classes throughout the year.

She loves to collect old cookbooks, hunt for wild berries, and cook seven-course dinners where the guests are encouraged to dance and cavort between courses.

Find more recipes from Lynne.

More about: mushrooms

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