Artichokes, Potatoes, and Dried Mushrooms Baked in Clay

Preparation info

  • Makes

    4

    servings
    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

The Savory Way

The Savory Way

By Deborah Madison

Published 1990

  • About

One of the benefits of cooking in clay is that flavors do not escape but are concentrated and returned to the vegetables. This method is especially well suited to those who wish to cook with very little fat or even none at all.

There’s a generous amount of garlic in this stew, but by the time it’s cooked, it will be soft and sweet. Push it out of the skins with a fork and eat it with the potatoes.

Ingredients

  • ½ ounce dried cèpes (porcini)
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 3 large artichokes
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • pounds red skinned or yellow fleshed potatoes, sliced inch thick
  • 12 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • salt
  • coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • several thyme sprigs or ¼ teaspoon dried
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons virgin olive oil (optional)

Method

Fill both the top and bottom halves of the clay pot with cold water and let them stand while you prepare the vegetables. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cover the dried mushrooms with the boiling water and set them aside to soak. Trim the artichokes: Break off the tough outer leaves and slice off the remaining cone of inner leaves. Trim the outside and scoop out the choke with a spoon. As you work, put the cut artichokes in a bowl with lemon juice and water to cover to keep them from browning. Slice the trimmed hearts into pieces about the same width as the potatoes.

Remove the mushrooms from the soaking water and run your fingers over the surfaces to loosen any grit; then squeeze them dry. Cut them into bite-sized pieces. Let the soaking water stand until the particles settle to the bottom.

Empty the clay pots then add the potatoes, artichokes, garlic cloves, and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and toss with the oil, if using, and the herbs. Carefully pour in the soaking water from the mushrooms.

Cover the pot with the lid and bake it for 1 hour. Once or twice while cooking, give the vegetables a gentle stir. By the time they’re done, most of the liquid will have been absorbed, leaving behind a glossy glaze.