Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Risotto with Outer Artichoke Leaves

Whenever we prepare this delicious Fresh Raw Artichoke Salad or simple stewed artichokes, we always end up with a bunch of leftover harder artichoke leaves: they’re too hard and full of fibre to be eaten, but it would be really a pity to throw them away, wouldn’t it be?

So we’ve figured out a way to use those outer artichoke leaves to prepare a scrumptious risotto.


Serves: 2 | Preparation time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 40 mins

  • Arborio or Carnaroli rice: 160 g
  • Parmigiano cheese, grated: 40 g
  • Butter, unsalted: 30 g
  • Fresh thyme, a sprig
  • Outer leaves of 5 to 6 artichokes
  • Carrots, 1
  • Onions, 1
  • Lemon, ½ a lemon
  • Garlic, 1 peeled clove
  • Extra virgin olive oil, a tbsp
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Method

Tip: Artichokes oxidate quickly; as soon as you peel them, put them in a bowl of cold water with some slices or drops of lemon to prevent them from blackening.

Select the tenderest leaves from the discarded ones.

Boil artichoke outer leaves for about 30 minutes, add stalks too, peeled previously. Drain them and keep hot the cooking water aside for later.

As soon as they are cooked, blend them by adding some of their cooking water, then filter the mixture obtained so as to discard the remaining filaments. You will need to obtain a thick cream. Add pepper and salt. Blend until the mixture has an homogeneous texture, if needed.

Sauteed the garlic in a pan with a tablespoon of Evoo and a sprig of thyme, then add artichoke cream and pan fry it for a few minutes. Remove the garlic.
Finely chop carrot and onion and brown them in a pan with some butter. Add rice and toast it for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly to make sure the rice doesn’t burn.

Use the cooking water from the artichoke leaves as broth to cook the risotto. Add a few ladles at a time, not all together, only keep adding more as soon as the water evaporates. When the rice is halfway cooked, add the artichoke cream and keep cooking until the rice is completely cooked through.

Remove from the stove, add grated Parmigiano and butter and stir until it melts completely.

Tip: For a perfect risotto, make sure the butter is very cold before adding it to the rice.

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