Brandade most often refers to a salt cod puree popular throughout France, but in this vegetarian version, it's a rich puree of beans topped with grilled artichokes.
6 baby artichokes (about 2 pounds)
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup dry rosé wine
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup organic vegetable broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
How to Make It
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Cut 1/4 inch off stems of artichokes; peel stems. Remove bottom leaves and tough outer leaves from each artichoke, leaving tender heart and bottom. Trim about 1 inch from tops of artichokes. Place artichokes in a Dutch oven filled two-thirds with water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until a leaf near the center of each artichoke pulls out easily. Drain and cool. Cut in half lengthwise. Place artichoke halves, cut sides down, on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until golden.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; sauté 4 minutes or until onion is golden. Add 2/3 cup water and next 3 ingredients (through beans); cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Place bean mixture in a food processor; process until smooth. Keep warm.
Combine wine, sliced garlic, and shallot in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Add broth; simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes).
Spoon about 1/2 cup bean mixture into each of 6 shallow bowls, and top each serving with 2 artichoke halves. Drizzle about 1 1/2 tablespoons broth mixture over top of each serving; sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon parsley and about 1/4 teaspoon thyme.
This was absolutely fabulous and very fancy-feeling, but I think I burned more calories making it than are actually in it. While this is somewhat of a positive, it pretty much guarantees that I will never make it again (especially not on a weeknight). Made this as-is, but I used canned artichoke hearts because really, who can find baby artichokes?? The layering of flavors was incredibly complex and interesting, although this is definitely a "serve immediately" dish. Leftovers were somehow bland and boring, and all of those interesting components kind of muddled together. (portions x-posted to eatcookdine.blogspot.com)
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