Mediterranean Mélange

 In Sides
Mediterranean Melange
Combine fennel, along with new potatoes, artichoke bottoms, feta cheese, and Kalamata olives, and you have what I call culinary synergism – the total effect is greater than the sum of the individual ingredients.
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  1. 1 lb. potatoes, sliced ½” thick
  2. 1 fennel bulb, halved lengthwise and sliced ½” thick
  3. 1 leek, halved lengthwise, and sliced ½” thick
  4. 4 artichokes, prepared (instructions below)
  5. 1 lemon, sliced ¼” thick
  6. 3 TB extra virgin olive oil
  7. 1 tsp kosher salt
  8. ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
  9. 1 tsp dried oregano
  10. ¼ - ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  11. ¼ - ½ cup Kalamata olives, halved
  12. 2-3 TB fresh parsley
  1. STEP 1: Heat oven to 450°.
  2. STEP 2: Prepare artichokes: Slice stems off so artichokes sit evenly. Tear off bottom 2-3 rows of leaves, cut tips off remaining leaves, and slice about ½-1 inch off tops. Cut into quarters and carefully remove the choke (the fuzzy part) and the inner leaves. Add enough water in a pot to cover artichokes and squeeze the juice of one lemon into the water. Place pot over medium high heat and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook, covered, until heart is tender, 35-40 minutes. Remove and drain artichoke quarters. Cut hearts out and reserve.
  3. STEP 3: Use the remaining leaves to dip into melted butter and pull through teeth to get the pulp-like portion at the base of the petals.
  4. STEP 4: Toss potatoes, fennel, leek and lemon slices with olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano to coat. Spread in baking pan in a single layer and bake at 450° until tender, 25-30 minutes.
  5. STEP 5: Remove from oven. Mix in artichoke hearts and olives. Sprinkle parsley and feta over top.
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