People who know me would tell you that it's hard to tell which I like more: gardening or cooking. I'd say it depends on which I'm doing at the moment. Anyway, French cooking and French gardening go hand in hand. For me, cooking is an on-going adventure. Join me here on my culinary explorations, where I share with you both my old favorites as well as new inspirations. It's my fondest wish that these recipes serve as a springboard for your own new creations.
06/18/2003 Artichoke-goat cheese terrine (Terrine d'artichauts au chèvre)
For 4 servings:
2-3 large artichokes, depending on size Half a lemon 1 chevre (goat cheese) in buche (log) form (about 5 oz.) Fresh thyme or thyme flowers Hazelnut oil 1 1/2 oz. toasted hazelnuts, chopped Sea salt and pepper
Either cook the artichokes whole, pull off the leaves and remove the chokes, or "turn" them while raw, snapping off the leaves and then trimming the bottoms. Cut the hearts in half and remove the chokes with a sharp knife. If using this method, plunge the turned hearts into water acidulated with lemon juice. Bring to a boil and cook just until tender. However you arrive at the cooked hearts, slice them lengthwise about 1/8" thick.
Lightly oil a small terrine dish with a bit of hazelnut oil. Line it with saran or plastic wrap, brush the bottom with oil again, and sprinkle a few hazelnuts and some thyme blossoms in the bottom. Put down a single layer of artichoke heart slices. Brush them with hazelnut oil. Slice the chevre lengthwise and lay down a single layer of it over the artichoke. Salt very lightly (taste the cheese for saltiness first) and grind in a bit of pepper. Sprinkle with hazelnuts, drizzle with a few drops of oil, and dot with thyme flowers. Repeat the process until all the ingredients are used up. Cover with plastic and press down lightly on the terrine.
Chill for several hours before turning out on a small platter and serving in slices with a salad of field greens dressed with a vinaigrette made with olive and hazelnut oil, sherry vinegar, and shallots.