Over the past week or so, I’ve noticed my sleep patterns have changed. I’m staying up later at night, despite my exhaustion, and I’m waking earlier and earlier each morning. It’s not as if my mind is restless and consumed with thoughts that prevent me from sleeping. No. The culprit is my internal alarm clock, and it’s being encouraged by the day-to-day stretching of daylight that feels inclined to announce it’s arrival through my bedroom windows each morning. I know what’s happening. The days are gently lengthening and the characteristic duo of blossoms and downpours heralds the emergence of spring.
Spring is an exciting season. It holds promise and discovery in it’s grasp. And this is never more evident to me than when I walk through my farmers market and see what’s new that week. I have to admit that I am a bit spoiled by my Southern California location and my ability to purchase fresh, local fruits and vegetables like strawberries and asparagus practically year round. However, it is the advent of springtime that couples flavor with these choices. There is nothing like promise of seasonality to jump start the taste buds. It makes the early wake up call that much more palatable. I am so ready for a change from the fall and winter offerings that I so willingly embraced months ago. It’s time to move away from the long winter’s nap and cycle with the seasons.
As March marks the beginning of artichoke season, I am really looking forward to finding the small, baby artichokes when they appear at my market. It shouldn’t be long before they and some of their springtime counterparts show up and give me every reason to lighten up my meals. In the meantime, I couldn’t resist this recipe any longer and picked up a bag of frozen artichoke hearts just to give it a whirl and do a little quality control check beforehand. I encourage you to do the same.
TURKEY AND ARTICHOKE SAUTE WITH LEMON AND ROSEMARY
Recipe adapted from California Heritage Continues
I toned down the amount of butter in the original recipe which seemed appropriate as we drift toward swimsuit season. I increased the amount of garlic, decreased the amount of lemon juice and replaced it with the delicious peel of Meyer lemons graciously gifted to me from a friend. I made the mistake of approaching this dish as if it were a last minute weeknight dinner. Not a good idea. That said, a bit of preparation beforehand will bring this dinner together much quicker and turn it into a weeknight or weekend meal worthy of entertaining. The cooking time is fairly quick as the name suggests; it’s the preparation and assembly that takes time, more than 30 minutes.
1-1/2 pounds uncooked turkey cutlets, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (I used it because I had it, but black pepper is fine as long as you don’t mind the freckles)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
4-6 fresh steamed artichoke hearts, sliced in eighths (frozen or canned may be substituted)
1/3 cup sliced green onions, white and green parts
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Meyer lemon peel, slivered
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon chicken stock or broth, heated
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Sliced green onions and Parmesan cheese for garnish
Pour stock in to a small saucepan and begin to heat without boiling.
Combine flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag. Shake the turkey pieces in the bag, a few at a time coating well. Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 12 or 14-inch skillet over moderately high heat. Saute turkey in batches 2-3 minutes per side or until springy to the touch. (It is necessary to saute turkey quickly or it will become tough.) Drain on paper towels.
In the same skillet, saute the artichokes for 3 minutes. Remove from the skillet and pour off and remaining browning oil. Reduce heat to medium low. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and add the onions and garlic. Saute just until soft, about 3-4 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, sugar, and rosemary. Add along with the heated stock to the onion and garlic. Bring up to a boil until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the Parmesan and stir until it melts. Add the slivered lemon peel. Season to taste with salt. Return the turkey and artichokes to the pan, add the parsley and heat through.
Top with green onions and Parmesan cheese and serve over thin pasta such as angel hair or cappellini that has been lightly tossed with olive oil.
- Meyer lemons are a bit sweeter than the usual Eureka lemons typically found in grocery stores. The sugar in the recipe balances the tartness of the lemon juice. You can use either variety with success; you may have to adjust the sugar or amount of juice depending on your preference.
- I used a very sharp vegetable peeler to remove strips of Meyer lemon peel (no white pith), which I then slivered.
- I used approximately 3/4 of a 12-ounce bag of frozen, quartered artichoke hearts.