Friday, April 3, 2009


It’s artichoke season and these beauties are hard to resist. Today I used them in a simple yet satisfying medley of mushrooms and spring garlic. After the fact, I thought some asparagus tips and/or a few scrambled eggs would also have been a divine addition for future sautés.

The key to getting great color and flavor when sautéing is to use a larger skillet than you think you need and avoid crowding the pan. My second piece of advice is to “leave it alone!” People love to hover over the stove and stir. Premature and excessive stirring prevents caramelization and, therefore, flavor development because it causes the release of the natural moisture in food. In a nutshell, the result is more like steaming rather than sautéing. Keep yourself busy while sautéing by preparing other ingredients or checking your email. Also, learn to use your nose. You definitely know the smell of something that is burnt but you can also learn to tell when something is perfectly caramelized.

2 artichoke hearts, cut into sixths, chokes removed (no cans or jars for this one!)
2oo g or a large handful of your favorite mushrooms, halved (ie; button, cremini, shitake, etc.)
5 stalks spring garlic, white part only, cut on a bias (alternatively use scallions)
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tbs flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
3 tbs olive oil
Salt/pepper to taste

Combine the garlic, parsley and 1 tbs of the olive oil and set aside. Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Once the pan is hot add the remaining olive oil. Sauté each of the vegetables separately in batches until golden brown on all sides, remove from the pan and set aside. Cook time for the artichokes and mushrooms is about 3 minutes per side (6 min total) for each and cook time for the spring garlic is 2 minutes. Put all the cooked veggies back in the pan along with the reserved parsley/garlic mixture, salt and pepper, stir to combine and serve immediately. If you are going to add a couple scrambled eggs do so after you have combined all the ingredients.

1 comment:

  1. i love really simple dishes like this -- simple but perfect