Trio of Crostini: Braised Artichokes, Roasted Spring Onions and Roasted Beets with Fennel | CUESA

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Trio of Crostini: Braised Artichokes, Roasted Spring Onions and Roasted Beets with Fennel


Liza Shaw, A16 Restaurant

This recipe was demonstrated at CUESA’s Market to Table programs on April 5, 2008.

Serves 4 to 6

1 loaf day-old bread
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 batch braised artichokes
4 ounces pancetta, thinly sliced
1 batch roasted spring onions
1 cup whole-milk ricotta, seasoned with salt
1 batch roasted beets
1 batch fennel
2 tablespoons Calabrian chili oil

Braised Artichokes 
1 lemon, peeled and halved
6-8 small to medium artichokes
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 ounces pancetta, small dice
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 bay leaf
1 sprig marjoram
2 sprigs mint, torn
Salt, to taste

 Roasted spring onions
1 to 2 bunches spring onions
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for chili oil
Salt, to taste
5 Calabrian chilies, drained, stemmed and roughly chopped

Roasted beets with fennel
1 bunch red beets, tops removed and washed thoroughly
2 fennel bulbs, halved and cored
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup black olives, pitted
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt, to taste


For the crostini

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.  Cut bread into 3-inch lengths and then into thin slices.  Brush with olive oil, place on a sheet pan and toast for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp.  Remove and cool.


For the braised artichokes

  1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.  Trim the outer leaves of the artichokes, leaving only the inner, tender leaves.  Using a spoon, remove the choke.  Trim the stem.  Cut each artichoke in half and place in a large bowl of water with the lemon.  (The acid from the lemon will prevent the artichokes from discoloring.)

  2. Drain artichokes and pat dry.  Toss artichokes with salt and place in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan.  Fill with the olive oil and lemon peel.  Add enough water to completely cover artichokes.  Cover pan, place in oven and cook until tender, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.  Remove from liquid and cut lengthwise into ½-inch slices, leaving stem and leaves intact.
  3. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the pancetta, garlic and bay leaf and cook until garlic has softened, but not browned.  Add artichokes and heat briefly to blend flavors. 
  4. Finish with marjoram and mint; season to taste with salt.  Set aside until ready to assemble crostini.


For the roasted spring onions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees.  Cut spring onions where the white parts meet the green parts.  Halve white parts lengthwise and toss with half of the olive oil and salt.  Set aside and repeat with green parts.

  2. Mix chilies with enough olive oil to cover.  Set aside.
  3. Place white and green parts on separate sides of a sheet pan and roast until onions are tender and have begun to brown.  (Green parts will cook more quickly than the white parts; remove before white parts.)  Cool onions and roughly chop, mixing the whites with the greens.  Set aside until ready to assemble crostini.


For the roasted beets with fennel

  1. Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees.  Toss beets with 1 tablespoon olive oil and place in a shallow roasting pan with ½ inch of water.  Cover pan, place in oven and roast beets for 1 hour, or until tender when pierced with a knife.  Remove from pan and cool.  When cool enough to handle, peel beets and cut into small dice.

  2. Thinly slice fennel on a mandolin.  In a food processor, puree olives, 2 tablespoons olive oil and vinegar.  Toss olive mixture with beets.  Set aside until ready to assemble crostini.  Just before assembly, toss fennel with remaining olive oil, lemon juice and salt, to taste.


To serve

  1. Arrange three crostini on each plate.  On the first, spoon 2 ounces of the warm artichoke and mint mixture and top with a few slices of pancetta.  On the second, spread a generous layer of seasoned ricotta and top with a spoonful of the roasted spring onions.  Drizzle with some of the chili oil.  On the third, spoon some of the roasted, marinated beets and top with the dressed fennel.


Photo by jules:stonesoup



CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »