Monday, May 6, 2013

Artichokes with Gorgonzola and Herbs

During the second snowfall in May, I looked at my sister and announced, "I'm going to Bachman's, want to come?" It's a huge floral/garden shop in Minnesota. And it's beautiful. And so we went. And spent almost 3 hours inspecting every orchid, seed, hanging baskets, fairy gardens and flower bouquets. It was time well spent.

And we spent a little money. We walked away with a wine/cheese pairing book. And put it to work. A new goat cheese, an aged goat cheese, Marcona almonds and quince paste. And a fine Sauvignon Blanc. That made it onto the patio a few days later. When it didn't snow and spring arrived - maybe to stay.

That was a well-earned glass of wine. And a mighty fine pairing. I heartily recommend it for whatever ails you. And when spring came, it was much the sweeter for the suffering! I love how the wealth of cheeses in Minnesota has soared. (But of course I am part mouse.)

During the last sleet/snow/rain, Sangria artichokes appeared in the stores. We've been eating our share of asparagus - keeping spring in the kitchen. And now it was time for artichokes. Baked artichokes with herbs and Gorgonzola to be exact. It was worth the wait.

This is from Food Network. I changed a few things but the original recipe is here.

Artichokes with Herbs and Gorgonzola - serves 4
4 artichokes
2 lemons
8-10 ounces Gorgonzola dolce (a sweeter, younger Gorgonzola - it melts beautifully)
4 tablespoons fresh thyme
4 tablespoons fresh parsley plus one tablespoon fresh parsley
3 cloves of garlic - minced
fresh ground pepper to taste
4 tablespoons Panko Breadcrumbs
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Artichoke with Herbs and Gorgonzola Preparation
Cut stems of artichokes so they can sit upright in a pan.Peel off outer leaves on bottom of artichoke. Trim away the top of the leaves - all those pricklies. And cut the tops of with a sharp knife. Dig into the middle and dig out the choke. You're going to replace the choke with the Gorgonzola mixture.

Fill a pan with water and squeeze in the juice of two lemons and then throw in the lemons. Bring the water to a boil and put the artichokes in the pan and simmer for 25 minutes. Drain and cool. While the artichoke is boiling, you can make the Gorgonzola filling and the breadcrumb topping.

*Bear in mind, you have time before you bake the artichokes - you can let let them rest for at least an hour.

In one small bowl mash the Gorgonzola, thyme, parsley, garlic and pepper. In another bowl mix the bread crumbs and parsley.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Dividing the cheese mixture into fourths, fill the cavity of the artichoke with the Gorgonzola filling. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over. Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 25 minutes (mine were done earlier.) Serve. Eat. Savor. It's spring.

When I took it out of the pan, the artichoke leaves parted and it just looked like a spring blossom to me. And that's what it's about in May, isn't it?

There's something appropriate about this recipe - artichokes/spring/sweet/tart/creamy/fresh. The dish delivers all of that. And so it was savored.

The windows are open. There is a cat in every open window. And wine to be drunk on the patio. We try to save the wine corks to put back in the bottle for later.

Except when we come back in, there's not a cork to be found. (Unless you check under the stove and china cabinet where you can also find many pens, nail files, "fake" mice (I hope), and the occasional; cell phone.)

He looks so innocent.

If you're going to sit out on the patio without cat, the cat will be busy. These days Luce runs around with a long stick that has a longer string that has a mouse attached to it. As he runs, Pippin chases. It seems Luce has figured out how to do our job of dangling cat toys. That works.

As you know, in my other life - I write plays for young audiences. The winter was good for output and I have found myself writing sweet, gentle plays this year. A lot of my smart-alecky self seems to have gone away for a while (I expect it will return). The local White Bear Lake magazine did an article about me. It's shameless self-promotion I know. And Luce finds the magazines very good - for sleeping on. But if you care to take a peek into my other life, here it is.

I smiled at the headline. No, I'm not "the Bard." Yes, I am smitten with my work. And spring. And Luce. And artichokes. And wine with corks. That go back into the wine and don't court dust under the stove.


Barbara F. said...

Claudia, this looks wonderful. I adore artichokes. Luce is one cute kitty. I have to check out the article. xo

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Our cat would "steal" everything from the coffee table. I found a collection of pens, coins, etc underneath the couch. I can't wait to see baby artichokes at the grocers.

Mary Bergfeld said...

I was thrilled to learn more about you. I don't view the link as self-promotion. In my mind it's a gathering of facts - just the facts, maam. I hope your week is off to a great start. Blessings...Mary

Anonymous said...

artichokes are my husband and eldest daughter's favorite dish! they are going to love this!
mary x

Gintare @Gourmantine said...

Wonderful way to serve artichokes, I usually have mine with French vinaigrette, but love the idea of pairing it with Gorgonzola.

chow and chatter said...

this looks lovely and an afternoon well spent

Kitchen Riffs said...

Thanks for the link to the story about your "other life." It was great! As is this recipe. I think I must be part mouse, too. Great way to prepare artichokes. And thanks for another great Luce picture, and more kitty stories!

Gina said...

I was getting worried the snow was never going to end over there for you. Good to see Spring is all around you now. I love baking artichokes and the addition of cheese is always welcome. I love the pink inside your chokes, the ones we get here are not that cute. Hope you week is going good. Next time I need 7 pounds of butter, I'm knocking on your door.

That Girl said...

I kind of love that you spent a snowy day at a garden center.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

That was a very nice bio, Claudia. You do valuable and inspirational work!

Your cheese platter looks mouthwatering and I love this new way to prepare artichokes. They look so tender and the gorgonzola/breadcrumb stuffing sounds so wonderful.

Your cats are so handsome and playful! They must keep you laughing all day :)

ChgoJohn said...

I very much enjoy stuffed artichokes but never thought to use gorgonzola. What a great idea, Claudia, and one that I'll be sure to try. Thanks for sharing.

QembarDelites said...

I pictured myself sitting there sipping your wine and eating your crackers and cheese while your artichokes are baking:D heavenly!

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

So glad spring has finally arrived for you. I was shocked when my dad told me it snowed AGAIN in Iowa...yikes. Your artichokes sound fantastic...I have yet to stuff any, but you have truly tempted me. Off to read the article...congrats on the nice publicity!!! xo

Angie's Recipes said...

Beautiful artichoke dish! I have never prepared a fresh one....see what I have been missing in life.
This is a fine gourmet dish, Claudia.
Luce is extremely busy in your house,isn't he?

Mari Nuñez said...

Wonderful spring recipe Claudia. The artichoke looks appetizing. Congratulations, I will go take a peek at the White Bear Lake.

Chiara said...

a perfect recipe for spring time, thanks for sharing Claudia !

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A scrumptious combination! Wonderful.



Amy said...

What a great way to spend the day with your sister. I love wine and cheese pairing, they are always fun. hm... the stuffed artichoke sounds lovely. Can't wait to try it.

Gloria Baker said...

I love artichoke and these look amazing!
Love your cat!

Juliana said...

I love artichoke and now with this topping sounds even better...looks delicious Claudia.
Have a great weekend :)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Claudia - You know you can post anything with Luce and I will fall in love with it. But truly, artichokes with gorgonzola? I'm smitten five times over.


I love everything that you write more so if it's about you. Happy Mother's day. Sending you love your way!

Beth said...

Wow, I loved that article. You've won 15 national playwriting awards?? I am seriously impressed!

Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina said...

Claudia, you have combined two of the best ingredients into one recipe! Genius! Now when hubbie goes somewhere and I'm alone with these two culinary friends of mine, I can have a feast (without listening to his un-culinary complaints against chokes and gorgo cheese)! Mmmm, more for me!


Angie's Recipes said...

Artichoke and blue cheese...a marriage made in heaven, Claudia.