Laurel Chenel goat cheese mac n' cheese

  • For the artichokes
  • 9 large artichokes
  • 3 Meyer lemons
  • 570 ml white wine
  • 570 ml water
  • 225 ml pure olive oil, plus 2 tbsps*
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tsp coriander seed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tsps sliced green garlic
  • For the macaroni and cheese
  • 680 ml double cream
  • 170 g pennette
  • 260 g goat cheese
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh lemon thyme
  • 1 pinch lavender
  • 1 pinch ground pink peppercorns
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 170 ml water, as needed
  • For the topping
  • 1 loaf rustic bread
  • 3 tbsps pure olive oil
  • 3 tbsps chopped Italian parsley leaves
  • 3 lemons, zested (from artichoke recipe)
  • 3 tbsps freshly grated Parmesan
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • For the garnish
  • 2 bunches rocket, cleaned
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 1/2 Meyer lemon
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper

1) Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.

2) Trim the artichokes. Using a serrated knife, cut off the top inch of each artichoke and cut off the stem to create a flat surface for the artichoke to sit on the plate. Place in a Dutch oven. Zest the Meyer lemons and set aside for the topping. Cut 2 of the lemons in half and squeeze the juice over the artichokes and place the juiced lemons in the baking dish. Add the white wine, water, 225 ml of the oil, garlic cloves, coriander, bay leaves and peppercorns.

3) On a burner on high heat, bring the liquid to a boil. Cover and cook in the oven until tender (leaves are removed easily), about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool and when cool enough to handle, carefully remove the center choke (heart) and smaller leaves from 6 of the artichokes, using a spoon. Then remove and discard all the leaves in the remaining 3 artichokes. Puree the remaining 3 artichokes in a food processor or blender.

4) In a small saute pan on high heat, saute the green garlic in 2 tbsps of the oil until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the 6 artichoke hearts and saute another few minutes. Juice 1/2 a lemon and season the artichoke hearts with the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Spoon a little of the puree mixture into each of the 6 intact artichokes.

5) In a medium nonreactive saucepan on medium-high heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Once it is simmering, add the pasta and stir often until pasta is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in the goat cheese, thyme, lavender, and pink peppercorns. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Adjust to desired consistency by adding water. Spoon pasta into each of the 6 artichokes on top of the artichoke puree.

6) Remove the crust from the rustic loaf and place the insides in a food processor. Pulse until you get fine crumbs. Saute 450 g of the crumbs with 3 tbsps olive oil on medium-high heat until golden and crunchy. Let cool. Once cool, toss the bread crumbs with parsley, reserved zest and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Generously sprinkle on top of the filled artichokes.

7) Place the artichokes in an oven-proof dish with a little water in the bottom and place in oven until bubbly and hot through, about 10 minutes. Toss the rocket in a sprinkle of olive oil and the juice of the remaining 1/2 of a lemon. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. To plate, make an arugula nest for the artichoke on each plate. Place a warmed artichoke in the center.

*Pure olive oil is a blend of refined olive oil and virgin olive oil. It has a more neutral taste than virgin or extra virgin olive oil.

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