The challenge I set this week was to use pea shoots – but even though they are in season I could not find any. So, I reset the challenge and chose artichokes for this month’s regional and seasonal item. I have used the pea shoots before here as a garnish to compliment my peas, but I was really looking forward to trying them as part of a recipe. The artichokes we get in South Africa are not the same ones we had in Italy – those ones are small and soft, and do not need long hours of water to make them palatable. So, yesterday for the first time, I turned an artichoke to get the heart. I now know why they cost so much. It is worth the effort if you have the time.
Now, having bought the artichokes I was walking to the till when I walked past a punnet of marrow bones. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them and a meal was formulated.
- bring the stock to a gentle simmer
- add the marrow bones and leave to poach
- the marrow bones can be removed as soon as they have cooked through
- take the marrow out of the bone with a knife and cut into half
- put the olive oil and the butter into a large sauté pan and gently fry the onion, celery, and carrot until soft
- add the artichoke hearts
- add the rice and turn up the heat slightly
- stir continuously until the rice goes transparent
- add the vermouth while you carry on stirring
- turn the heat down and add a ladle of the stock, you do not need to stir the whole time while the stock absorbs
- add a generous pinch of salt and the next ladle of stock
- stir the stock in and when it has absorbed, add another pinch of salt
- add a ladle at a time, stirring once or twice while it absorbs
- when you are down to the last ladle, adjust the seasoning
- add the marrow bones
- add the last ladle, and check to see if the rice is cooked
- add the Parmesan
- remove from the heat, stir in the butter and serve immediately
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