Okay…well, I was starting to enjoy this warm weather that Mother Nature so graciously blessed us with the past few weeks…I mean, I even broke out the flip-flops…but alas…it was to good to be true! So despite Spring officially being the season, the weather is still a little crisp in the evening…we were inspired to do find a yummy Spring Stew.
Meaty artichoke hearts, earthy morels and tender leeks give a rich, satisfying flavor, making this an ideal vegetarian entrée for entertaining. If you wish to add an indulgent flair, omit the butter at the end and drizzle each serving with some truffle oil or good-quality extra-virgin olive oil.
1/2 ounce(s) dried morels, (see Note) or porcini mushrooms (1/4 cup)
1 cup(s) warm water
6 large artichokes
1 large lemon
1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium leeks, white part only, cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup(s) baby carrots
12 clove(s) garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon(s) finely chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 cup(s) dry white wine
2 1/2 cup(s) reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1 cup(s) baby lima beans, fresh or frozen
1 cup(s) peas, fresh or frozen
4 teaspoon(s) butter
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup(s) chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup(s) chopped fresh parsley
Cover mushrooms with warm water in a small bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving liquid. Rinse the mushrooms well under cold water; drain and chop. Strain the reserved liquid through a coffee filter or paper towel to remove any dirt.
Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with water; juice the lemon and, reserving half the juice, add the rest along with the lemon halves to the water. Pull off outer leaves from an artichoke. Using a small, sharp knife, pare the artichoke down to the heart. Trim the bottom of the stem, then peel the stem. Scrape out the choke with a melon baller or spoon. Cut the heart into quarters and place in the lemon water to prevent browning. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.
Heat oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks, carrots, garlic, thyme, mushrooms and the artichoke hearts; cook, stirring often, until the vegetables start to brown, about 5 minutes. Add wine and cook until slightly reduced, 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth, salt and the reserved mushroom liquid. Cover and cook over low heat until the artichoke hearts and carrots are almost tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
Stir in lima beans and peas. Increase heat to medium, cover and cook for 10 minutes more. Stir in butter and the reserved lemon juice. Season with pepper. Serve the stew in shallow bowls, garnished with chives and parsley.
Note: Morel mushrooms are cone-shaped, with a honeycombed structure and a smoky flavor. Wild fresh morels are found at gourmet shops or specialty stores in the spring; they are sold dried year-round.
It would go perfect with…
Cheesy Bread ::
8 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 lb shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 to 1 cup chopped green onion (optional)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup, 4 ounces), softened to the point of being slightly melted
1 loaf of French or Italian bread
In a large bowl, mix together the cheeses. In a separate small bowl blend the butter and garlic until smooth. Add the butter mixture to the cheese mixture.
Preheat broiler. Slice loaf of bread in half horizontally, lay crust side down. Spread cheese mixture over the bread. Place under the broiler until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove from broiler and let sit for 5 minutes until cool enough to handle. Slice the bread with a bread knife. Serve.
Great place to get fresh bread is Great Harvest
Try pairing it with…
DuBoeuf Beaujolais Villages
*on VIC Card Special this week for $7.99
Let us know how yours turns out!