Carrie’s Food Less Lawn Project and Homegrown Artichoke Risotto

I recently visited Carrie from Read Between the Limes to see first hand the incredible transformation of her front lawn. She lives on a corner lot in an older neighborhood which means she has a huge amount of front yard space to play with. The first time I saw her place she was still in the planning stages and she still had plenty of lawn. But what a difference a few months and a lot of hard work makes. She has removed the majority of her lawn and in it’s place has created this amazing space filled with edibles, fruit trees, succulents, and ornamentals. Peppers, tomatoes, artichokes, pumpkins and squash are all planted amongst flowers like nigella and nasturtiums. I think this time next year she can be a one woman farmers market. I only wish I had my new camera when I came to visit as these pictures really don’t do it justice. If you want to read more about Carrie’s project from it’s beginning go here to it’s current stage here.



I didn’t leave empty handed. Carrie generously gave me her homemade limoncello, a trash bag of compost, a flat of various plants, and fresh artichokes from her front yard. The limoncello was quite strong but it makes a delicious aperitif to sip on a hot night. I’m finding new spots for the plants. My fifteen year old brother has already claimed the watermelon. The artichokes were used the night I came home. I used it in a risotto. Just be careful to not use the mature leaves as they will be tough for the dish.



Artichoke Risotto

Artichoke Risotto

Makes side dishes 6 or 4 main dishes.
3-4 large artichokes or 6-8 baby artichokes
5-6 cups of chicken broth
3 1/2 tablespoons of butter
1 1/2 tables of olive oil
2 shallots finely chopped
2 cups of arborio rice
1/4 cup of dry white wine
1 cup of finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon of fresh parsley
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1. In a medium sauce pan bring the chicken broth to a boil and then let in simmer on low heat.
2. Clean the artichokes and remove the outer leaves until only the tender inner leaves and heart remain.
3. In a medium pan melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add shallots and artichokes and stir until tender (about 3 minutes).
4. Add the rice and stir for a minute. Add wine and stir until it evaporates.
5. Add 1 cup of the simmering broth until it is absorbed, stirring frequently. Continue to add broth 1/2 cup at a time until it is absorbed stirring frequently. The rice will become creamer and softer. It is done approximately 30 minutes later when the rice is al dente.
6. Remove from heat and cheese and 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir in parsley, lemon juice, and lemon peel Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.





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