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Braised Baby Artichokes with Mozzarella Cream

  • ACTIVE: 45 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
  • SERVINGS: 6
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • VEGETARIAN

Artichokes can give wine a weirdly sweet taste. But Mark Ladner's beautiful braised baby artichokes don't, because he serves them with a luscious pureed-mozzarella sauce.

  1. 2 lemons, halved
  2. 12 baby artichokes (1 1/2 pounds)
  3. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  4. 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  5. 1 cup water
  6. 1/2 large white onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  7. 10 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  8. 1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil leaves, plus 3 basil stems
  9. 1 bay leaf
  10. 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  11. Kosher salt
  12. 3 ounces buffalo mozzarella, plus 2 tablespoons of the liquid from the container
  1. Fill a large bowl with water. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon halves, then add the lemon halves to the water. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, peel off the dark green outer leaves. Cut off the top fourth of the artichoke; peel and trim the stem. Slice the artichoke lengthwise 1/8 inch thick and drop into the lemon water. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.
  2. Drain the artichokes and discard the lemon. In a large saucepan, combine the artichokes with the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, the white wine, water, onion, garlic, basil stems and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the artichokes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, discarding the basil and bay leaf.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Add the artichokes and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chopped basil and season with salt.
  4. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the mozzarella with 2 tablespoons of its liquid and the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil until smooth. Spoon the mozzarella cream onto plates, top with the artichokes and serve.
Make Ahead The braised artichokes and mozzarella cream can be refrigerated separately for 2 days. Serve warm and whisk the mozzarella cream before serving.

Suggested Pairing

It's an Umbrian-inspired dish, so Dan Amatuzzi chooses a nutty Umbrian white to serve with it, like a Vitiano Bianco, a blend of Verdicchio and Vermentino.

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