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Artichoke Paste

Contributed by :Admin
Recipe Rating   :Unrated
Prep Time         :Not Specified
Cals/Serving    :336


4 large artichokes -- 4 to 5
1 lemon (juice of)
3 lemon peel pieces (large)
2 tablespoons finely diced onion or shallots
2 garlic cloves -- thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
3 thyme sprigs or a couple of pinches of
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon or a small branch of
4 parsley sprigs
freshly ground black pepper
fresh lemon juice or tarragon vinegar to
chopped chervil or tarragon for garnish


Trim the artichokes down to their hearts (they can be quartered) ad set them in a bowl of water acidulated with the lemon juice as you work. Use a pan large enough to hold all the artichokes in a single layer. Add water just to cover and add the lemon peel, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, tarragon, and parsley. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, adding small amounts of water as needed, until the artichokes are tender and just a few tablespoons of liquid remain. Remove the bay leaf, lemon, parsley, and thyme branches.

Transfer the artichokes to a food processor and puree, adding the remaining pan juices as needed to thin the mixture. If any fibers from the artichokes remain, pass the puree through a food mill. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If desired, add a little lemon juice or vinegar to taste to sharpen the flavors. Heap into a bowl and garnish with the chopped chervil or tarragon.

Artichokes make a subtle and delicate spread to serve with crackers. The time to make this is when the large spring artichokes from California are available and inexpensive. If it's available, garnish the spread with chopped chervil or tarragon.

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