Braised artichoke hearts with celery root—carrot puree

This is a simple and delicious dish that uses a silky celery root and carrot puree as the bed for artichokes braised in a bright liquid of wine, lemon juice, and fat. A topping of herbed croutons and bread crumbs adds a delicious layer of texture, making this a standout dish. Big thanks to Monifa Dayo for advice on making this dish shine.

Ingredients:

herbed croutons and bread crumbs

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 loaf sourdough bread, ripped into 1-inch pieces

Kosher salt

braised artichoke hearts

1 lemon, halved

6 medium artichokes

1 cup dry white wine

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 bay leaf

1 habanero chile, stem intact

2 garlic cloves, cut in half lengthwise

celery root—carrot puree

1 medium celery root (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into ½-inch dice

1 large carrot (about 4 ounces), peeled and thinly sliced

3 large peeled garlic cloves

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 tablespoon olive oil

¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

Freshly ground white pepper

Flaky sea salt

Directions:

Make the herbed croutons and bread crumbs: Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, rosemary, thyme, and garlic and mix well. Transfer the bread to the bowl, sprinkle with salt to taste, and toss to coat the bread. Spread the bread in one even layer on the baking sheet. Bake, shaking the pan and stirring every 5 minutes to ensure even toasting, until crunchy, 20 to 30 minutes.

Transfer half of the croutons to a food processor and pulse quickly to form bread crumbs. Set the bread crumbs and croutons aside.

Make the artichoke hearts: To prevent the artichokes from browning, fill a large bowl with water and squeeze juice from the lemon halves into it (drop the lemon halves in as well). Throughout the process of trimming the artichokes described below, dip the artichokes into the lemon water to prevent browning.

Using a paring or chef’s knife, trim the stem of an artichoke. Next, snap off the tough outer leaves until you reach the tender interior leaves (they should be pale white-green-yellow). Using a paring knife, clean up the stem and the outside of the base of the artichoke by trimming around it. Using a serrated knife, trim the top inch or so of the artichoke, then, using a soupspoon, scoop out the fuzzy innards of the artichoke heart. Put the trimmed artichoke into the lemon water and repeat the process with the remaining artichokes.

In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, combine the wine, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, bay leaf, habanero, garlic, and 7 cups water. Bring the liquid to a boil. Gently slide in the artichokes, lower the heat to medium, and simmer until tender, 30 to 45 minutes, removing the habanero after cooking for 15 minutes. Remove the artichokes with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Make the celery root—carrot puree: While the artichokes are simmering, combine the celery root, carrot, and garlic in a medium saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 2 inches and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, decrease the heat to medium-low, and simmer until tender, about 40 minutes. Drain in a colander, reserving the cooking liquid. Transfer the celery root, carrot, and garlic to a blender. Add the coconut milk, olive oil, and kosher salt. Puree the mixture, adding the reserved cooking water if necessary, to form a spreadable puree. Season with kosher salt and white pepper to taste.

To serve, smear the celery root-carrot puree onto a serving platter, top with the artichokes, and garnish with the croutons and bread crumbs. Season with flaky sea salt to taste.