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Artichoke Bottoms In Cheese Sauce

ingredients

6 large globe artichokes
vegetable stock
juice of 1 lemon
1 oz (30 g) grated Gruyere cheese
butter

for the cheese sauce:

14 fl oz (400 ml) bechamel sauce or veloute sauce
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 oz (40 g) grated Gruyere cheese

garnish with:

tomato rosebuds

serve with:

Courgette Puree

method

1. Gently boil the artichoke bottoms in vegetable stock.

2. Fill a large bowl with water acidulated with the lemon juice.

3. Prepare the artichokes, stripping each one right down to its fleshy base; remove the choke and cut off the stalk. Use a small sharp knife to pare away any rough edges and drop immediately into the acidulated water. When they are all ready, poach in the cooking stock for about 20 minutes or until they are tender.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) mark 4.

5. Make the cheese sauce: make the bechamel or veloute sauce, which should be of pouring consistency and not too thick for this recipe. As soon as it has thickened, take the saucepan off the heat and beat with a balloon whisk as you add the egg yolks one at a time, followed by the grated cheese.

6. Drain the cooked artichoke bottoms and cut each one into 3 or 4 thin sections. Cover the bottom of the dish with half the sauce, place the sliced artichokes on top, cover with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the grated cheese.

7. Dot little flakes of butter here and there on the surface. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, to form a golden brown layer on top.

8. Serve immediately, garnished with a few tomato rosebuds.

Courgette puree makes a good complement to the artichokes, both in taste and appearance.

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