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Sauteed Artichokes with Spring Peas and Wild Mushrooms

Yield: 6 servings

  • 2 medium or 4 small artichokes
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 spring (bulbing) onion or three scallions
  • splash of dry white wine (optional)
  • ½ pound English peas (about 1 cup shelled peas)
  • ¼ cup black trumpet or chanterelle mushrooms, or other wild mushrooms as avail-able
  • 1 tablepoon butter
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • small sprig thyme

Squeeze half the lemon into a bowl and add a few inches water. Snap back the leaves of the artichokes, starting at the outside and removing all dark green leaves. Trim all the dark green from the stem and base, and cut the top half of the leaves off as well, leaving only pale green. Cut each trimmed artichoke in half, and using a spoon, scoop out the fuzzy choke (if you are using small artichokes this step is not necessary). Place the halved artichokes in the bowl of lemon water to keep them from browning. When all the artichokes are cleaned, remove the halves from the bowl, slice them, and return to the water.

Slice the spring onion into rings. Shell the peas. Clean the mushrooms, removing any very tough looking stems.

Warm the butter in a non-reactive sauté pan, and when it’s melted add the thyme and onion. Cook over medium heat for a minute, then add the artichoke slices. Add the wine, cook down completely, then add about ⅓ cup water, and cover the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the artichoke slices are tender. Uncover, add the mushrooms, and raise the heat. Cook, tossing and stirring, until the mushrooms soften. The liquid should be mostly evaporated by now, but if the pan is too dry you may have to add another tablespoon of water. Season the mixture well with salt and pepper. When the mushrooms are cooked (this should only take a minute!) you can either stop and wait to finish the dish right before eating, or continue on. If you stop, reheat the artichoke-mushroom mixture before continuing. Just before serving, add the peas and a tablespoon water. Cook over high heat for a minute, until the peas are just cooked. Taste for seasoning, and serve immediately, removing the thyme sprig.”