Yield: 4 portions
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Fill a large bowl with cold water. Using a peeler, peel three strips of lemon zest from the lemon; set aside. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the water.
Gently pick off the first layer of the outer leaves from each artichoke. Using a sharp paring knife, cut off the stalks about 3/4 inch (2 cm) from the base, and cut 3/4 inch (2 cm) off the leaf tips. Turn each artichoke by cutting around the outside of each one to remove any green parts, trimming the leaves a bit at the top and removing any woody parts at the base. Using a melon baller or a small spoon, scoop out each furry choke, found in the centre. Cut the artichoke hearts into quarters and immediately put them in the lemon water to prevent oxidation.
In a medium pot on medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the oil. Sauté the bacon lardons, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until nicely caramelized. Add another 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of the oil, and stir in the pearl onions, garlic, celery, carrot, fennel, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook gently for 8 to 10 minutes, until softened but without colouration. Stir in the artichokes and lemon zest. Deglaze the pot with the wine and reduce by half. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until you can just pierce the artichokes with slight resistance to the tip of your paring knife. Discard the bay leaves. Toss in the parsley leaves, salt, pepper, and the remaining oil. Taste for seasoning.
Serve the artichokes with all the vegetables and broth in a bowl. If you prefer a more intense flavour, use a slotted spoon to transfer the artichokes and vegetables into a bowl and reduce the cooking liquid by half on high heat. Pour the reduced liquid over the artichokes and serve either warm or cooled to room temperature.
Fireside nibbles—one simply can’t get enough of them. This eye-catching dip is so easy to prepare: just whip it up in a blender and serve with your choice of veggies or bread crisps for scooping. It’s equally delicious spread on crostini and topped with bruschetta. Bubble-licious Dip can also be served warm. Transfer dip without toppings to small baking dish that is microwave or oven safe. Heat in microwave until bubbly, or bake uncovered in 400 F (200 C) oven until bubbly and golden on top. Garnish with toppings and serve.
Inspired by the flavours of Vietnamese-style summer rolls, this satisfying dinner is built around a marinated flank steak that will stretch to feed a crowd. Marinating flank steak over several hours tenderizes a cut that starts out tougher than some others but can’t be beat for flavour. The marinade flavours of lemon grass, lime, mint, cilantro, and red chilies shine through and are topped off with a spicy mango dressing. Those enjoying this board can choose to eat salad-style or make lettuce wraps filled with slices of beef and a host of crunchy vegetables. Party perfect If you don’t have a board big enough to accommodate everything, split items between two smaller boards. If you’re serving over a few hours, you can also keep some of the ingredients back from the board, in the refrigerator. This will help you keep the board replenished and looking good as stocks are depleted. Leftover sauce makes a great marinade for coleslaw.
Give veggies and dip a punch of protein with this savoury white bean dip. Roasted garlic gives this dip a mellow but rich flavour. The vegetables can be changed up according to the season, but don’t skip the beautiful Belgian endives. Their slightly bitter flavour makes an excellent contrast to the slightly sweet dip, and they work as a built-in scoop. Make-ahead dip This is a great dip for making in advance. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. However, before serving, allow it to come up to room temperature. This will accentuate the rich flavour.