Gratinee of artichoke "Benny"

Published: Wednesday, May. 23, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 2D

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Serves 2

This recipe is from www.Sacatomato.com blogger Lynn Gowdy, a Sacramento Connect Partner. She writes:

Not your typical Benedict, this version is a fantastic weekend ode to the artichoke. To make things quicker, you can purchase premade hollandaise sauce. I've also used tahini-based salad dressing or sauce in a pinch, which adds a slightly different but oh so pleasing twist to the dish.

INGREDIENTS

2 large artichokes, stem removed, all leaves removed and choke removed to end up with the hearts (see note below for cleaning artichokes)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Water, for simmering

2 eggs, poached (see directions below)

Gremolata topping:

2 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs

Zest of half a lemon

1 finely minced garlic clove

1 tablespoon minced parsley, packed

1 tablespoon finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1 tablespoon olive oil

Hollandaise sauce:

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Juice of half a lemon

Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

How to clean an artichoke for this dish: With a sharp knife, cut about 1 inch off the top of the artichoke. Cut the stem off. Peel away all the leaves until you get to the tender pale yellow-green leaves. Using a spoon or melon baller, remove the leaves and choke (hairlike strands above the heart). Immediately put the heart in lemon water to keep the choke from oxidizing.

Prepare artichokes: Put artichoke hearts in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover the two hearts. Add minced garlic, olive oil and salt and bring to a simmer on medium-low heat. Simmer 10 to 12 minutes, or until a knife is easily inserted into the heart. Remove and keep warm.

While the hearts are simmering, make your gremolata and hollandaise and set aside.

Make the gremolata: Put breadcrumbs in a bowl. Add lemon zest, garlic, parsley, cheese and olive oil. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. If it seems too dry, add additional olive oil to moisten. (This is a semi-dry topping to sprinkle on your dish.)

Make the hollandaise: Beat the egg yolks in a bowl. Heat the butter in a small pan. It should be hot but not boiling. Let the milk solids fall to the bottom of the pan. Pour the liquid or clarified butter off of the top into a bowl. Discard the milk solids.

While whisking the yolk, slowly pour a little butter into the yolk to emulsify the mixture. Continue adding the butter slowly while whisking until the butter is all gone. Mix in the lemon juice, a little salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as desired. Cover and set aside to keep warm.

Poach the egg: Fill a small pan with 2 to 3 inches of water. Add a splash of vinegar. (This helps to quickly set the outside of the egg so the white doesn't bleed into the water as much by lowering the coagulation point of the egg white proteins.) Bring the water to just before boiling point, then turn it down to simmer. You want the water to barely bubble at all. Crack each egg into a small bowl or ramekin.

Lower the bowl to the surface of the water and tip the egg out. Immediately add the second egg. Cook for 2½ to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and carefully place each egg on a folded paper towel. (I put the paper towel on top of the egg then flip it over.)

Plating the dish: Put a drop of hollandaise in the middle of a small plate. Put the artichoke heart on top. Place a poached egg in the middle or "bowl" of the artichoke. Drizzle hollandaise over the egg, zigzagging back and forth and overlapping just a little bit onto the plate.

Sprinkle the gremolata on top and serve immediately with your favorite toast.

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