Thursday, March 19, 2009

Finding "La Dolce Vita" along with an Artichoke filled Foccacia



This time next week Fabrizio and I will be in London's Olympia Hall finding "La Dolce Vita".
No, I'm not talking about Maryann's wonderful blog by the same name, I'm talking about the London's 5th annual "most influential Italian lifestyle event" . There will be cooking schools, travel, property, food and wine, just to name a few of the attractions. We are going with our friend Enrico Bernard to help him hawk his superb elixirs, that feature the mountain flowers and herbs from here in Val Chisone and Germansca. You will find us in the Market area at stall M4. We'll be singing the praises about why you need to come and visit us here and try the famous and somewhat mythical "Genepy". We will, of course, have plenty of Barathier, Genepy and Serpoul on hand to sample, in hopes of enticing you to take some home. Fabrizio and I will of course be trying to entice you to bring yourselves over the pond to our "Bella Baita Italian Alps Retreat" for some mountain therapy.
Untill then why not make yourself a fresh artichoke filled focaccia and sit back, put your feet up and watch the original "la Dolce Vita' or perhaps "Il Postino" or some other such Italian movie.

Artichoke Focaccia

2 fresh artichokes, cleaned and sliced thinly
I cut up from the base to the tips of the leaves, discarding tough leaves as needed.
1/2 red or yellow onion
1 garlic clove minced
mixed dried herbs, I like oregano, thyme, rosemary and sage
Olive oil
white wine to deglaze pan
Optional
Fresh mozzarella
small tart tomatoes, Camarone and Costoluto, are coming in here from Sardinia and Sicily at the moment.
2 large focaccia squares, I made my own, but of course you can purchase them easily enough.
If you're looking for a focaccia recipe there are plenty of them out there. I don't always use a recipe and just wing it. I had topped this with black pepper and rosemary.

Saute your onion, garlic and artichoke slices in a small amount of oil for a few minutes till onion softens. Add the herbs, stir and cook a little more. You can deglaze your pan with a little white wine if you like. After it evaporates, add enough water to cover and cook the mixture covered till the artichokes are cooked all the way through, 10-15 minutes. Adjust seasonings with a bit of salt and pepper.
I only had a small piece of mozzarella so I chopped it into pieces and sprinkled it over the mix, just long enough for it to melt.
Slice your squares down the middle. I cut mine just big enough to fit in my toaster and lightly toasted them before piling the artichoke mix on one half. I didn't have any at the time, but some tart little tomatoes would add another depth to the yumminess..
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