Risotto 'Giallo' with Artichoke Stems

The artichoke season has begun! In Italy, it is the basis of many recipes. You can eat artichokes raw, finely sliced and dressed with good-quality oil, lemon and Parmesan flakes. You can also eat them  boiled and dressed with oil and salt or sautéed with oil and garlic; they can also be coated in "pastella" and fried or filled with herbs, garlic and breadcrumbs and braised. You can serve artichokes as a main course, side dish, pasta sauce, in soup or in salad.

However, not everybody knows about the delicacy of the artichokes stems. When I buy artichokes, I always ask the grocer to keep all the stems, the sweetest part of the flower. It takes a bit of time and you need a sharp knife to remove the external part of the stem, but when you get to the core you simply chop it and sauté it in a pan with garlic and oil for 3 minutes. You then cover it with boiling vegetable stock and let it simmer for 15 minutes, until just tender. In the meantime you prepare a classic "risotto giallo alla milanese" and halfway through you add the artichoke stems and fresh rosemary to the risotto.

risotto giallo with artichoke stems and rosemary

Artichoke stems with their flowers

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