Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Baby Potatoes and Artichokes with Lemon and Rosemary

Baby Potatoes and Artichokes
Lemon and Rosemary

The new Vegetarian Times magazine came recently and I actually had time to peruse it!  There is a 4 page article on "Short - order Stews".  In other words, these stews should take you 30 minutes to make.  I don't know about you, but it always takes me longer than recipes suggest in terms of time.  I will say, though, that this Potato/Artichoke dish was pretty easy to make!

The article contains recipes for:

Tuscan Kale and White Bean Stew with Breadcrumb Topping
Baby Potatoes and Artichokes with Lemon and Rosemary
Brussel Sprouts and Carrot Ragout
Smoky Black Bean and Butternut Ragout
Spiced Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew

Here was my thought process.... I love potatoes.  I already have a great recipe for kale and white bean stew cooked in the pressure cooker.  I can only find organic brussel sprouts at the West Side Farmer's Market on Saturdays and I wasn't going this last weekend.  Cauliflower - yuck!  I had just made a huge crock pot full of black beans last week and we were kind of full of beans, if you get my drift.  So, baby potatoes it was.

I had a can of artichoke hearts in my pantry.  I use artichoke hearts in a Greek tofu scramble I make, on vegan BBQ pizza, and occasionally in salads.

This recipe calls for an entire can of artichoke hearts cut in half.  That was easy prep.

I had never fried or sautéed artichoke hearts.  This recipe calls to sauté the artichoke hearts cut side down in olive oil.  I used my dutch oven rather than a fry pan.

 What can go wrong with 4 cups of baby red potatoes!

Here are my artichoke hearts lightly sautéed.  While they were cooking I prepped everything else.  I think that's what makes this recipe fairly easy and fast.  Get the artichoke hearts cooking and then wash and cut the potatoes, slice the kalamata olives, and chop the garlic and rosemary.

Cooking the potatoes was interesting.  This recipe calls for raw potatoes put into a pan with some olive oil.  I was skeptical.  It worked!  I did add some of the vegetable broth a bit earlier than the recipe suggests just to be certain I would have cooked potatoes at the end.

Quartered Kalamata olives, chopped garlic, and fresh rosemary.  The rosemary needs to be fresh.  It was such an amazing addition to this dish.

This is a photo near the end of cooking time with everything added and ready to simmer - potatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, garlic, rosemary, and lemon zest.

Baby Potatoes and Artichoke Hearts
with Lemon and Rosemary

2plus Tbs. Olive oil
1        13.75 can water packed artichoke hearts, rinsed,      
          drained, and halved
4        cups quartered baby potatoes
1/3     cup pitted Kalamata olives, quartered
2plus  cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp)
1        tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1        tsp grated lemon zest
1/2     cup or more of vegetable broth

1.  Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over low heat.  Remember that olive oil is not a high heat oil.  Cook artichoke hearts cut side down for 5 minutes or so.  Do not stir.  They should brown lightly.  Transfer to a plate.

2.  While you are cooking the artichoke hearts, prep the potatoes, olives, garlic, and rosemary.

3.  After removing artichoke hearts from the pan, heat the rest of your olive oil and add potatoes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir the potatoes, make sure the heat is on low to medium-low, and cover.  Cook about 5 - 8 minutes.

4.  Add the chopped garlic to the potatoes and cook for another minute.  Stir to incorporate the garlic.

5.  Add about 1/4 cup or more of the vegetable broth and cover again for another few minutes.  Keep checking the "doneness" of your potatoes.

6.  When the potatoes are cooked but not completely soft, add the artichokes, olives, rosemary and lemon zest.  Stir.  Add another 1/2 cup or so of vegetable broth, cover, and simmer for 5 or 6 minutes.  The potatoes should be tender and the liquid reduced to a light gravy.

We ate our potato ragout with a huge dinner plate of salad. It was so yummy and delicious.  The rosemary and lemon zest were amazing additions.  This dish was savory, tangy, and salty all at once.  Yum.

 We often make salad the "star" of the meal and have some other cooked vegetable on the side.

Never fear.... we got our protein.  First of all, we don't need nearly as much protein as current culture suggests.  Secondly, we added a vegan tofu burger cooked and cut up like croutons and garbanzo beans.  This salad also had chopped mixed baby lettuce, carrots, cucumber, apple, avocado and red pepper.  I dressed it with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper.

During the day on Sunday I simmered homemade stock in two huge stock pots.  While I cook I keep a gallon ziploc bag on the counter and I throw all the little bits and pieces of washed things I don't use - onion, celery, pepper, ends of zucchini, leek, tomato, garlic, carrots, etc.  When I have a collection of 2 or 3 gallon bags in the freezer I pull them out and empty them into stock pots with water and add some Italian herbs and salt and pepper.  Bring all of that to a boil and then simmer gently for a few hours.  Strain it and pour into recycled salsa or hummus containers and throw it into the freezer.  You always have stock on hand that way.  Take the strained cooked vegetables out to the compost.  You always have compost building to put into your vegetable and flower garden!  

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