Braised Artichokes With Olives & Feta, a Lavender Buttermilk Tart & A Cookbook Giveaway!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Baked Artichoke Hearts With Olives & Feta

I've had the chance to travel to the West coast and back twice in the last couple of weeks and twice I had high hopes of experiencing some lower, nice Fall-ish temperatures. I was ready. Sweaters picked. Scarves tied up to my purse. Instead, it was tank top and summer dressed that ended up in my suitcase. It felt exactly like what October is here in the South. A soft stroke of the sun, a lull of breeze in the trees. A delicious moment.

Since we never really get a transition between seasons, it's always a bit difficult to feel in an autumnal mood with food and recipes. I do, however, like to get in the kitchen and try to conjure up some wicked good Fall recipes whenever possible. It most often involves roasting, slow simmers, braising. Warmth and aromas filling the house with the comfort of nostalgia and the promise of another season ahead. Yes, it does make me mellow.

Artichokes

One of the dishes I made recently that really invoked Fall as I knew it back home was artichokes, braised with plenty of onions, lemon, olives, thyme and feta. I did not vary much, if at all, from the original recipe I found in a magazine my mom sent me. I usually ad lib the recipes I read but this one was too intriguing to pass up.

When it comes to artichokes, we usually fix them two ways: steamed ad served with vinaigrette to dip or barigoule (barigoule is the name of a certain kind of mushroom in Provence by the way). We had this with sauteed scallops one night which turned out to be a perfect match. Hearty and light. Not quite Summer anymore and not yet Fall either.

Baked Artichoke Hearts With Olives & Feta

I made the artichoke dish the evening before a trip to Portland last week and fully expected to have some leftover for B. to warm up while I was gone but we almost polished the entire thing with our dinner companions that evening.

Tonight, I prepared a Lavender and Buttermilk Tart for tomorrow's dinner, right on the eve of my departure for New Hampshire. I am teaching two food photography and styling workshops at the bi-annual creative retreat Squam Art Workshops. I like for Bill to have a little something sweet while I am gone. In moderation right now because I'm pretty much here and gone for another couple of months for various work projects.

Lavender & Buttermilk Pie

The tart is from Holly Herrick's newly released "Tart Love: Sassy, Savory and Sweet" and for which I was honored to be commissioned to do the photography. I must tell you why I dig this book so much. Beside the fact that I am thrilled of the work that the designer and publisher did with the photos and lay out, I am completely enamored with all the recipes in this book. Holly is not only a prolific recipe writer but a darn good one to boot. Her flavor combination were at times intriguing but always spot on and a sure success. Trust her to know what flavors and tastes work together and in what quantity.

The woman is an amazing chef. Her pastry crust is flaky, rich, easy to make and easy to roll and re-roll without ending with rubber. The recipes are creative, fun and quirky at times: Feisty Shrimp & Grits Pockets, Salad Nicoise Tart, Raspberry Creme Brulee Tartlets, Butterscotch & Caramel Apple Tarts. I love her titles as much as I love that Holly's personality and love of seasonal produce comes through each recipe.

Lavande

I could talk about the tarts in this book for hours. I loved making all of them as much as I loved photographing them. Whether you are a novice or an advanced cook, you will find more than ten tarts you can start baking right from the start. Seriously. If you are nervous about making a tart crust, Holly takes you through each step with care and ease. If you wish you had more interesting or just some new/other tart fillings in your repertoire, this is also the book for you.

Trust me. I just received my "official" copy the other day and I have rediscovered, with great excitement, recipes I had cooked just a year ago. I am thrilled to give away two copies of Holly's book, Tart Love. Fresh from the press, tested, tasted and approved by yours truly. And my husband and about everyone in the neighborhood when I was done taking the tarts mug shots, ahah!

Tart Love
Photos from Tart Love: Sassy, Savory and Sweet. © Helene Dujardin 2011

All you have to do to enter the giveaway is to:
- leave a comment at the end of this post. One entry per person, duplicates will be rejected and anonymous will not be accepted (unless you are my mother, but she knows better...!)
- Please allow 48 hours for your comment to be moderated and to show up on the blog as I will be traveling this week.
- The giveaway will close Sunday September 18th 2011, at midnight Eastern time


Keep your eyes peeled for other reviews and giveaway of the book as some bloggers have graciously offered to take it on a virtual launch tour! Could not be more excited for Holly to give her hard work the recognition it deserves.

Lavender & Buttermilk Pie


Braised Artichokes With Onion, Olives & Thyme, barely adapted from Saveurs (France)

Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 lemons
6 baby artichokes
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 red onion, sliced
1/2 cup white wine or stock (vegetable or chicken)
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
6 sprigs of thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon vinegar

Directions:
Turn the oven to broiler setting. Slice one of the lemons horizontally and spread the slices on a baking sheet line with parchment paper. Place under the broiler until the lemons turn a bit dark on the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Fill a large bowl with water and the juice of the remaining lemon. Cut the top of the artichokes and remove the outer leaves almost down to the core (only the softer leaves should remain). Save the leaves to steam later and snack on if desired.
Cut the artichokes in half and clean the inside of that fuzzy part (in France, we call this the "hay"). Cut each half once more and place each quarter immediately in the lemon water to prevent oxidation.
Heat up one tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauteeing pan and cook the onion for about 5 minutes, until tender.
Add the artichokes to the pan, the white wine (or stock) and the same amount of water (1/2 cup). Season with salt and pepper according to your preference. Cover with a lid and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and cook another 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
Place the artichokes and onions on serving plate, randomly add olives, feta cheese, lemon slices and chopped thyme. Drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and the vinegar. Check the salt and pepper if necessary.

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Lavender & Buttermilk Tart, adapted with permission from Holly Herrick's Tart Love: Sassy, Savory and Sweet.

(Serves 6 to 8)

Tart Crust:
2 1/4 cups White Lily all-purpose flour (or other brand if White Lilly is not available)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of sea salt or kosher salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3 tablespoons ice-cold water, or just enough to hold the pastry together

At least 30 minutes before rolling and baking (or up to one day in advance), prepare the pastry. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a plastic blade, pulse together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse rapidly, 40 – 50 times, or until the butter is blended into the flour and is coarse and the butter is the size of small peas. Gradually, add the water in a small trickle, with the processor running. Continue adding just as the pastry starts coming together in the shape of a loose, crumbly ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Form into a disc, about 1″ high, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.

1 egg wash – yolk, pinch salt, splash water, blended together

For the lavender infused buttermilk:
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup whole cream
1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers or lavender leaves (available at most gourmet specialty stores and some groceries)

For the custard dry ingredients:
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

For the custard wet ingredients:
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons sweet butter, melted
1 teaspoon best-quality vanilla extract

Prepare tart crust. Chill 30 minutes (or overnight), and roll out into your preferred tart pan, creating a little border above the rim of the pan itself. Chill 20 – 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the prepared shell on a baking pan and partially blind bake the pastry by placing a piece of parchment paper on the bottom crust, filling it with dried beans or pie weight and baking for about 10 -15 minutes. Let cool and remove weights and paper. Brush down the pastry with the egg wash, and return to the oven to finish baking until golden brown, another 10 minutes. Remove the pre-baked shell from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350F. Allow the shell to cool slightly at room temperature.

Meanwhile, infuse the buttermilk with the lavender. Combine the buttermilk, cream and lavender flowers in a saucepan, whisking to combine. Turn the heat on high and bring up to a low boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to steep five minutes. Using a fine sieve, strain the infused buttermilk into a medium bowl and refrigerate to cool.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar and salt), whisking to combine. In a medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Whisk the eggs for one minute until light and lemon-colored and fluffy. Whisk in the butter and vanilla. When the buttermilk has cooled to body-temperature or cooler, it’s time to add it to the wet mixture, slowly streaming into the egg mixture and whisking to combine. To finish the custard, stream the milk/egg mixture into the dry ingredients mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the custard into the prepared tart shell. Bake 35 minutes or until the custard has browned to a light tan and the custard still quivers to the touch. Remove from oven and cool for at least one hour before slicing.

523 comments:

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Lyn said...

Love love everything! The book looks absolutely awesome.

ITheeCook said...

Oh how pretty it all is. I love tarts in every way!

corycoakley said...

I have to admit, that lavender tart looks amazing. I have always been skeptical of eating lavender, but since trying lavender chocolate I have been convinced.

How do you avoid thorns in your thumbs when prepping your artichokes? The last time I made artichokes I had splinters for days.

chrissie said...

That's one of the best looking artichoke dishes I've ever seen. I think I'm the only one in the house who will eat artichokes but I bet they'll all love that tart!

Irene said...

Oh, I'd love to own a copy of this cookbook. Count me in!

Samee said...

It all looks almost too pretty to eat - almost!

Amber2Zoe said...

I love lavender so any book that uses it gets high marks from me!

Amanda said...

Thank for the giveaway!

ChichaJo said...

Those are gorgeous tarts! Oh I would love to win a copy :) I hope this is open to commenters outside the US! :)

Ana Telkieva said...

Love your tarts!Very often I make your macadamia milk jam tarts, don`t mind to have a book with tart receipes!Thx

ruthinaz said...

Who doesn't love a tart? Enjoy reading a good cookbook as much as trying the recipes. Hmmmmmm

Natalie said...

artichokes are the best! delicious recipe

Lindsey said...

Love all your pictures, they are so wonderful! =)

farmerpam said...

Count me in.

Ms. T said...

Mmm! I think it's perfect tart season right now. :)

Chlo D said...

Wonderful photography!!! Can't wait to try these recipes ... always looking for uses for our lavendar! I hope you enjoy your time at Squam - the view from Rattlesnake Mountain is amazing and a short, easy hike if you get an hour or two to yourself!

Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. said...

Everything in this post is beautiful, especially that tart!!

Gen said...

Magnifique mise en valeur de l'artichaut! Et je n'aurais pas pensé à mettre de la lavande dans mon dessert!

Jessie said...

Mmmmm, love me some tarts! :)

Rose Fern said...

I love tarts, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the book!
Thanks for this nice giveaway!!!

Tamara Lee said...

Lovely and beautiful as always. Thanks so much for the opportunity!

Keri said...

Lovely photos...delicious looking food!

Carolyn said...

Oh Helene! I just made your goat cheese mousse tart (something you posted years ago) this past weekend. It was spectacular! Everyone I fed loves the filling and the crunch of the tart. I'm now obsessed and want to try making as many tarts as I possibly can with my new tart tins. The lavender buttermilk tart will be next, I might top it with fresh figs!

Elizabeth Beasley said...

Making tart/pie crusts is one of my favorite things to do in the whole world. I find it very relaxing and the results are delicious, no matter what you fill it with! Would love to try this tarty cookbook. :)

matthew said...

Looks Great!

Muffin Tin said...

Oh, I would love to have this cookbook!

Midnight Cowgirl said...

The lavender & buttermilk tart sounds delicious!

letsgetcookingblog.com said...

Those tarts look sooo yummy!!! I'd love to win the book!

Maya said...

I love tarts of all sorts. Sounds like my kind of book!

Maya said...

I love tarts of all sorts. Sounds like my kind of book!

crazyappetite said...

I have been a fan of yours for years now. I just randomly decided to visit your site today and was astonished at the amount of comments left, then as I read, I realized that there's more people like me that usually read, but never comment. But a book giveaway, deserves a comment. So here it is)))
Have I ever told you that your work is awesome? Yeah, I have, but anyways...))))

Fancy That said...

How could I not desire Holly's book. you've captured three of my most favorite things...Artichokes, lavender and figs! Yummy...
Have been researching lavender for the past year and have learned that
the English Lavender is better in sweet recipes while Provence blends better in savory dishes.

Will be on the look out for Holly's book.

hdinh said...

That tart looks and sounds absolutely amazing.

Stru said...

Would love to try out some new tarts!

The Whimsical Wife said...

I'd be in tart heaven with that book - your photographs and holly's recipe's pure heaven!

Lisa C said...

If the tart recipes in Holly's book are anything as good as your recipes, the book is a must have! Your pictures, stories, and recipes inspire me to try new things.

alice t. said...

love tarts!

RochelleD said...

Just recently made my first tart and it was a big hit;can't wait to make more!

IB said...

Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Please pick me so I can make all of the recipes in the book.. Merci!

hohomacarons said...

ommo! i loveeee the lart! looks amazing:) lavender:) yumminess:)

Lisa H. said...

I was looking for recipe on how to cook artichoke... voila... i found one here... perfect timing :D
Saying that I hope that Lady Luck is with me to win the book too :D

Miss Kimbers @ Fruit Salad & Mixed Veg said...

I'm sure I could look at your photos in the book all day! The pie looks great:)

Rowena said...

I would love a copy of the book! Thank you for doing this giveaway.

Deena said...

Looks and sounds gorgeous! Mmmm!

Heidi said...

Looks wonderful!

Melanie said...

oooh, I love the cover shot, with that pear tart. YUM:)

Lynnette said...

My mouth is watering...your pictures are gorgeous as always!!!

Becki Sue said...

Your photography blows me away. I just put your photography book on my birthday wish list.

Jamie said...

This is just the thing I've been looking for. I'm living in San Francisco for the year and brought only the tart pans along for pastry. And the fruit and vegetables at the farmers markets here are dying to end up in a buttery baked shell.

Mrs. Fowler said...

Helene, I envy you so much! Doing what you love and making a career out of it! I am going to try your tart recipe, it looks absolutely scrumptious!

Joy said...

Everything looks so good.

Amy G said...

Another wonderful post. The group of 4 pictures of the tarts is so beautiful and mouthwatering that I am salivating as I type this, hoping that I will win the book so that I can make each one of them, and more! What's more, they are so evocative of the title of the book, which I love. Here's hoping!

britt said...

The ingredients, linens, serveware all look so French- beautiful! love it!

BeckiH said...

I just love tarts! And your photographs are amazing!

Hannah M. said...

buttermilk tarts? those look delicious!

Roberta said...

Hi! I am a first timer here, so well, what could I say? my jaw litterally dropped as soon as the post popped up on my laptop screen... your photos are stunning and inspirational!
I can almost smell the tart here at home!

I'll be back soon, that's sure!
Roberta

Kacie said...

As a college student I am always in need of a new recipe book! Yum.

Deborah said...

Everything looks so delicious. And I love tarts, so of course I'm in on the giveaway as well, if allowed. I hope so, as I can never get enough cook books (addicted).

May said...

I enjoy your blog! Tarts are my favorite! Would love to look at the recipe book.

Iva said...

iva

I would love to dive in to these delicious tart recepies!!!I need the book please!!!

delacasa said...

I have just dried some lavender flowers from the garden - look forward to trying the tart! Thanks for the recipe and, as usual, the beautiful photography.

Christina, from New Zealand

Madison said...

Yum! Artichokes.

True said...

Sounds like a wonderful book! And, thanks for the delicious artichoke idea. My whole family loves them!

Sarah @ pão e queijo said...

I LOVE artichokes... great dish and photos, as always! I'd also LOVE a copy of this book :)

sarahepardee(at)gmail(dot)com

Lily said...

Those tarts look absolutely delicious! I'd love to have a copy of her book (:

Stephanie said...

such beautiful creations! would LOVE a copy of the book!!

Lisa said...

You and Holly working together......Sometimes, life is amazing and I feel blessed to live in the same state! You are both incredibly talented women :)

dawn said...

i cook after school with kids and this looks like we could explore it for awhile

Jessica Holly said...

This looks amazing! I'd love to win!

Kimi said...

Looks like a great book

booklovercook said...

Oooh, tarts! I love tarts. I've made two blackberry tarts in as many weeks - trying to take advantage of blackberry season in the Pacific Northwest and tarts are my chosen venue. I can't wait to try the tarts in this book! Thank you for promoting it or I might never have known it existed!

Tina said...

The book sounds amazing. I love tarts and this one looks delicious!

Erin R said...

Wonderful recipes, amazing pictures! I can't wait to try these amazing tarts, perfect for fall!

Issie Baker said...

I love tarts. But always been afraid to make my own. I have a tart pan sitting in my drawer for almost a year and never been used. finallyI hope I'd win the book so I can try my hand at tart making!

Andi said...

Beautiful pictures-those tarts look delicious!

Gemini said...

Your photography and recipes are awesome. I'd love to read a book that would help me learn to make tarts easier. Thanks for putting together such a wonderful blog.

evinrude said...

wow! i just saw that there were 499 comments~! the tarts look gorgeous and i hope i'm eligible though i'm living in singapore!

madcookingfusions said...

Hi... awesome is the word..everything looks so tempting and stunnig...amazing pics too!!! Would love to follow you to learn from you!!

Esme said...

I really want a bite of that tart.

Tracy Altieri said...

If the dishes taste anything like their pictures - YUM!

Maria Ef. said...

wow!!! I am dying for a slice (and to get my hands on a copy :) -thank you for the opportunity)

PT in SC said...

Thank you for the chance to win, I would love the book.

Jennifer P said...

Every tart looks so yummy. I'd sure love to have the book so I can try them.

Lisabella said...

Nice way to tart up my day!

Gloria said...

Oh, my! I love tarts! Your photos are always so beautiful! Thank you for sharing her book with us!

Elicia said...

beautiful!

Lydia Jean said...

Life would be better with tarts at every meal!

kyleen said...

Hi Helene! Beautiful pictures as always. I love the dish you used in the first picture; the handle is so unique.

Mary said...

buttermilk and lavender is a combination I would never have thought of. it sounds very intriguing.

Tammie said...

YUM!

Helen said...

There is nothing like a tart. This book sounds great.

Anna said...

This book looks mouthwatering....!!! and your photographs seem to capture the tarts perfectly

hickeyja said...

Tarts are fabulous. We love them. Can't wait to get a copy of this book. Thanks for the opptunity to win one.

Nathan Smith said...

The tarts look fantastic!

LexF said...

the photos, the recipes, the writing... everything leaves me wanting more!! can't wait to try!

honeyfromflintyrocks said...

These tarts look amazing! And with your fantastic gluten free crust I can make them all!
Blessings,
~Mrs. R

Laura said...

I love your style and photos and keep coming back - I would LOVE to have the book so fingers crossed.

Ate_Liza said...

I love visiting your blog and taking inspiration in what you cook, write and show thru your photos. Cant wait to try out the artichoke and tart recipe you shared.

Lizzabell Dizon said...

I simply love your blog!
I seldom leave comments, but here's one for the book!

Kate said...

These are fabulous photographs, of what looks like a fabulous tart. Lavender cream...mmm! Must the lavendar be dried, or would a few sprigs of the fresh stuff do just as well?

decocinasytacones said...

I´d love to receive the book, I´m in Spain though and I´m not sure if the giveaway is also for countries abroad. In any case, I´d love to have it and I don´t know what happens to my email suscription, I never get it, I used to but suddenly it stopped. Thanks Helene for the beautiful pictures.
Bixous
Marialuisa

Funky Days said...

This will give me an extra excuse to make tarts! :) (Not that I am lacking in any excuses, haha)

A Thought For Food said...

I am sure that every project you work on is one that you care very much about... and this book looks like it has so much heart and soul. Beautiful!

Sarah said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I love tartlette!

Kalie said...

That's delicious! Helene you are my hero!

Sanna said...

A salad nicoise tart sounds intriguing!

ms.elissapearl said...

I love tarts.

Janice said...

So inspiring! I am stuck on crostatas and gallettes - would love to put my many tart pans to good use! Thank you for the opportunity to win this beautiful book!

Amy said...

I'm sure these tarts are as tasty as they are beautiful!

Marilyn said...

Oh how I would love to win this cookbook. It sounds divine. Please, please pick me.

Katie said...

YUM! This book looks amazing!

Jen said...

I don't know what I want more; to eat the photos, or to hang them in my kitchen!

: )
Jen

Nang said...

Love them all! Your tarts combine a feeling of sophistication and rustic into one! Simply beautiful!

Rachael M. said...

Looks like I'm number 525. I hope that's lucky. LOL

Aubrey Devin said...

This might be one of those dishes that I'll answer to when someone asks, what would be your last meal? It is just perfect. xo

wen said...

yummmy....xooxoxoxo

cristy said...

Wow! So lovelya nd wonderful! :)

foivi.geller said...

Amazing pics! Can't wait to make the recipes!;)

Patricia Scarpin said...

I love tarts and should definitely bake them more often - your buttermilk tart looks delicious, Helen! And the lavender must add such a fresh touch. Beautiful!

French Home Decor said...

Yum! Photography is fantastic! Love the Lavender cake - another great use for culinary lavender - does it taste as good as it looks?

Michele said...

wow! i have been looking for ways to use lavender! thanks!

Sophie said...

Il est trop tard pour gagner ce livre, mais j'aimerais l'acheter. Y a-t-il une date de sortie annoncée en France?, car il n'est pas disponible sur amazon.
Par ailleurs j'aime beaucoup votre travail et je suis en plein dans votre livre plate to pixel, j'apprends beaucoup

Helene said...

Sophie: le livre est disponible sur amazon.

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