Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lemon Braised Artichokes and Turkey Sausage

I know it is a zillion degrees outside, but I think my internal clock knows what time it is. I'm starting to get more into the mood for "autumn-y" recipes: that warm, spiced stuff that makes you just feel cozy.

Lemon Braised Artichokes and Turkey Sausage

I made this recipe for Cat Cora's Lemon Braised Artichokes, but of course, I changed it just a little bit. I can't find it up on the site any more, so here it is reprinted, with my changes in italics:

6 artichoke hearts, cleaned and quartered I used the whole quarter with the leaves on, and just cleaned out the needles with a spoon
1 package Italian turkey sausage
1 cup lemon juice (use the fresh stuff!)
2 Tblesp. kosher salt
1 Tblesp. freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 Tblesp. finely chopped thyme (I just used 1 tsp. Nonno's seasoning instead, which doesn't actually contain thyme, but what the hell)
1 Tblesp. minced garlic (yes, I added more, even though I used Nonno's)
4 ounces white wine
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil (now, come on, you know I didn't use that much. I drizzled on maybe a half-cup).
I added enough chicken broth to cover everything -- 2-3 cups

chopped parsely, for garnish (skipped it)

You basically bring the mixture up to a boil on the stovetop, and then cook it at 350 degrees covered with foil for an hour. I don't have a Dutch oven, so I brought it to a boil and then transferred it to a large stoneware pan for the oven.

We weren't really sure how to eat what resulted... Was it a soup? A side? An appetizer? I dunno. But we ended up cooking up some small pasta, chopping the sausage, dusting on a lot of Parmesan cheese and eating it as a soup. We just picked out the leaves of the artichokes by hand, scraped those on our bottom teeth, discarded them, and then ate the hearts in with the rest of the soup.

Initial awkwardness aside, I cannot tell you how heavenly this was. To quote a line from my beloved BBC show Chef!, "I have never had a liquid as good as that in my life." I wanted to swim around in a vat of it, drinking it through a snorkel. The original seems like it might have been a a bit oily (and I mean even without me swimming around in it), but the reduction of the oil, and the addition of the chicken broth and the sausage is a change I'm definitely keeping. It keeps for a very long time in the fridge (Cora says up to 3 weeks), and really, you have to try this one out.


  1. I have to agree. That stuff was damn tasty. Good memory, babe! And the autumn thing is understandable. The NFL's first regular season game is just 8 days away!

  2. Alright, I admit it...I once tried artichokes and didn't like them. But this looks really delicious. Is there a way for you to tell me how the artichokes taste after cooking it? Ridiculous, I know, but I want to try this!

  3. Hmmm... well, they stilll pretty much taste like artichokes. What I mean is, if you didn't like them before, you still might not. But I think at the very least you'd like the broth and the sausages..? The taste is sort of very rich and velvety. Buttery, lemony, wine-y.

  4. I like spinach and artichoke dip, so I wonder why I wrinkle my nose at actual artichokes. I think I may give this a shot when it's dreary and gray outside.

    Hey, if it's Cat Cora, I'll trust you! Such a cute little morsel she is. :)