artichokes and beets with crescenza fondue
carciofi con fonduta di crescenza
TOTAL TIME: 40 minutes
MAKES: 4 appetizer servings
Beets and artichokes, delicious on their own, are so much better when paired and served with a cheesy sauce. Crescenza is a super creamy fresh cow's milk cheese that's widely made in Lombardy. If you can't find it, use your favorite soft and creamy cheese in its place.
- 1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
- 2 large beets (3/4 pound), preferably yellow, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 12 baby artichokes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 6 ounces crescenza cheese
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
Combine 1 tablespoon tepid water and saffron in a small bowl; set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add beets and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a large bowl halfway with cold water and several ice cubes; add lemon juice.
Peel artichoke stems. Cut off top 1/2 inch of 1 artichoke with a serrated knife. Bend outer leaves backward until they snap off close to base, then discard several more layers of leaves in same manner until you reach pale yellow leaves with pale green tips. Cut off green tips. Trim dark green fibrous parts from base and sides of artichoke with a small sharp knife, then cut in half lengthwise and submerge in acidulated water. Repeat with remaining artichokes.
When beets are tender, drain and set aside. Drain and pat dry artichokes.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add artichokes; cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add broth and gently simmer until artichokes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Add saffron mixture and cook 1 minute more. Drain artichokes, discarding cooking liquid.
In a medium saucepan, combine milk, cheese and salt. Over low heat, gently warm mixture, whisking occasionally, until smooth and warmed through, about 10 minutes. Divide sauce among four serving bowls. Top with beets and artichokes. Drizzle with oil. Serve warm.
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