About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

My Complete Profile

Recent Posts
Flathead Birregurra Style
Henry Westons Cider
Maque Choux
Brine Cured Dill Pickles
Hazelnut Gateau
The Salad Leaf
Iced Mexican Mochachino
Swedish Meatballs

1001 Dinners 1001 Nights
A Few of My Favourite Things
Abstract Gourmet
Apellation Australia
Becks and Posh
BurgerMary ATX
Cook (almost) Anything at least once
Cooking Down Under
Cook sister!
Cooked And Bottled In Brunswick
David Lebovitz
Deep Dish Dreams
Chef Paz
Chubby Hubby
Eating Melbourne
Eating With Jack
essjay eats
Food Lover's Journey
Grab Your Fork
I Am Obsessed With Food
I Eat Therefore I Am
Iron Chef Shellie
Just Desserts
Kalyn's Kitchen
Kitchen Wench
Matt Bites
Melbourne Gastronome
My Kitchen in Half Cups
Nola Cuisine
Not Quite Nigella
Nourish Me
Seriously Good
Souvlaki For The Soul
Stone Soup
Syrup and Tang
Steve Don't Eat It!
That Jess Ho
The Elegant Sufficiency
The Perfect Pantry
The View From My Porch
Thyme for Cooking
Tumeric & Saffron
tummy rumbles
What I Cooked Last Night
where's the beef
Vicious Ange

Food Blog Resources
Food Blog S'cool
I Eat I Drink I Work
Kiplog Food Links

Food for Thought
Autism Victoria
Autism Vox
forget me now
Lotus Martinis
MOM - Not Otherwise Specified
St Kilda Today

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Artichokes with Pear

Cooking inspiration can strike in many different guises, you might be reading a food magazine, shopping at the greengrocer or butcher, or perhaps, better yet, your better half had recently visited a farmer's market and come back with a mystery bag of ingredients.

Which is kind of what happened in this instance.

Together they sat on the kitchen table, maybe a little incongruously, but side by side nonetheless.

Pears and artichokes.

I watched unthinkingly for a couple of days, until it dawned that due to a lack of attention from the purchaser, some kind of artichoke action was expected from me. They're a bit of a favourite around these parts and one of the first vegetables to signal the arrival of spring. However, deep into autumn and artichokes really live up to their name, with the flower pistels far more developed and ready to make you choke.

Ever see a cat cough up a furball? If you eat late season artichokes, not properly prepared, that could be your fate.

Of course, those who love this flower bud from the thistle family, gladly trim back all those tough leathery outer leaves, to reach the tender heart and blithely scoop out any offending choke. The truth is, more artichoke is actually discarded than what is ever eaten.

It's kind of the opposite of cabbage, whereby a few manky outer leaves and the insignificant solid central core hold no culinary promise. But the leaves are real social butterflies, happy to partner up with whatever else is to hand, they gorge on fat, swoon with pork, have a swinging time in a minestrone and a secret love affair with apples, especially long simmered red cabbage with apples.

One thing cabbage and artichokes have in common is they both don't mind a bit of sharpness, a necessity with artichokes to stop them from browning. But consider red cabbage with apples, where a bit of vinegar is vital, not just to set the colour, but also to balance the sweetness.

So, if artichokes like a bit of acidity, would they behave like red cabbage and become more rounded with a bit of fruit sugar?

You bet.

Pears and artichokes sound an unlikely partnership, but they really do work. This is one dish I'd like to see you give a shot, a dish of few parts that is greater than its sum. For black pudding lovers looking for an alternative to fried apple, this is for you. Otherwise, a pork chop would go well.

Artichokes with Pear
(serves 4)

6 artichokes
50ml olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 firm pear, peeled, cored and diced
1 tablespoon white balsamic or white wine vinegar
salt & fresh ground pepper
chopped dill

Strip all the tough outer leaves from the artichokes and cut of the top third or so of remaining leaves. Cut each base into quarters and scoop out with a teaspoon any hairy choke. Place in a bowl of water in which you've squeezed the juice of a lemon to stop any browning.

Sweat the onion in the olive oil until soft but not browned. Add the prepared artichokes while still wet and simmer for a minute or so. Add the diced pear and white balsamic, then season with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Place the lid on the pot and simmer for about 30 minutes, check for water if necessary and cook until the artichokes are soft. You may need a splash more of vinegar. Add the chopped dill and serve.
  posted at 11:11 pm

At 3:23 pm, Anonymous kitchen hand said...

Where did you get the 'individual' black puddings?

At 7:02 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi kitchen hand, we got those black puddings from Uncles Smallgoods, 313 Centre Road, East Bentleigh, there is also a branch in Dandenong. They're a bit squishier than English style ones and have a bit of barley in them, that's the way Poles like them.

At 10:55 am, Anonymous Perth Coffee Beans Lady said...

I like artichokes but fresh ones can be a bit bland without lots of vinaigrette. Your recipe is so different with the subtle sweetish taste of pear and sharpness of balsamic vinegar. Thanks.


Post a Comment

<< Home


Recipe Categories
Cakes & Desserts

November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
May 2009
June 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
July 2012

Prev ~ List ~ Random ~ Join ~ Next
Site Ring from Bravenet

Site Feed

counter easy hit

Blog Design by:

Image created by:
Ximena Maier

Powered by:

Photos, Original Recipes, and Text - (C) Copyright: 2005-2010
At My Table by Neil Murray, all rights reserved.
You may re-post a recipe, please give credit and post a link to this site.

Contact Me
Neil Murray

Follow messytable on Twitter