It’s hard to believe it will ever be spring. We had a tiny glimpse of it last weekend–the sun came out, the temperature soared (comparatively), the snow melted (mostly), and thoughts turned to gardening, outdoor sports, and beach vacations. Then came Wednesday. Sigh. It ain’t over. There’s snow in the forecast once again, and my spirits have plummeted along with the mercury.
But The Ranch at Live Oak Cookbook is kindling hope in me–hope that one day soon the weather will look even somewhat like it does in Sara Remington‘s spectacular photos of the famed, Malibu-based spa (memo to self: It won’t), hope that I will stop eating nonstop carbs to insulate myself against the cold and start eating things like Ranch Detox Salad and Fragrant Green Curry with Thai Eggplant (I will, I will), and most of all, hope that asparagus and artichokes will replace winter squash in the markets before too long.
They will. Right?
The Ranch at Live Oak Cookbook
Delicious Dishes from California’s Legendary Wellness Spa
by Sue and Alex Glasscock
Photographs by Sara Remington
- 4 large artichokes with stems
- ¾ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 medium shallot, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- lemon wedges, for serving
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- Make the brandade: Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, cover, and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Uncover the pan, add the garlic, and sauté until the onion is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the beans, ⅔ cup water, the rosemary, and the lemon zest and simmer briefly to blend the flavors, about 2 minutes. Carefully transfer the white bean mixture to a food processor fitted with the metal blade and puree until smooth. (The brandade can be prepared up to 3 days ahead; cover and refrigerate.)
- Make the artichokes and garlic broth: With a sharp knife, trim ¼ inch from the artichoke stems. Pull off the tough outer leaves. Trim off the top 1½ inch from each artichoke; use kitchen scissors to snip off any sharp edges on the remaining leaves. In a large pot fitted with a steamer basket, steam the artichokes until just tender when pierced with a small, sharp knife, about 12 minutes. Using tongs, remove the artichokes from the steamer and let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut the artichokes lengthwise in half; remove the chokes.
- In a small heavy saucepan, simmer the broth with the shallot, garlic, vinegar, and lemon zest over medium heat until the broth has reduced to ½ cup, about 3 minutes; reserve. (The broth and artichokes can be prepared up to 1 day ahead; cover separately and refrigerate.)
- Preheat an outdoor grill to medium heat or a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the artichokes lightly with olive oil. Grill the artichokes until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side; set aside.
- Meanwhile, bring the garlic broth to a simmer. Return the white bean puree to a skillet and stir over medium until heated through. Divide the brandade among shallow bowls and top with the grilled artichokes. Spoon the broth over the artichokes and around the brandade. Sprinkle the parsley and thyme over the artichokes, garnish with the lemon wedges, and serve.