MUSSELS IN ARTICHOKE CUPS~ From StoneGable's Kitchen

This recipe = food love! What wonderful flavors!!!! I could eat all 4 of these. These can be served as an starter to your meal... or for a light and elegant dinner!

4 medium artichokes

Juice of 2 lemons

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp salt

1 lb fresh mussels

1 cup good dry white wine

1/2 cup cup shallots, finely minced

3 large garlic cloves, finely minced

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 cup curly endive, washed and dried

3 cups Boston lettuce, washed and dried

1/4 cup Anchovy Vinaigrette, recipe follows

2 TBS fresh parsley, finely chopped OR chopped chives

Wash the artichokes and cut off the stem. Cut 1/2 inch from the top of the artichoke with a sharp knife. BE CAREFUL~ these artichokes are very tough! Using scissors snip off the tips of the sharp leave ends.

 Cut the lemons in half and rub the artichoke all over with lemon, concentrating on the snipped ends.

Stand the artichokes in a large, deep saucepan. Make sure they snugly fit upright in the pan in 1 layer. Add enough water to cover the bottom 1/3 of the artichoke. Squeeze the juice from the lemons and pour over the artichokes. Sprinkle with salt. Wedge the lemon shells in the pot. Cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes.The artichoke is done when a leaf easily pulls out of the artichoke.

Drain the artichoke inverted until cool and then gently separate the center leaves and scrape  out the fuzzy choke (do not eat this) with the tip of a spoon. Chill artichokes until ready to use.

Meanwhile, clean mussels. Mussels are living things and need a little know-how to clean properly. If you are new to using mussels, here is a great 2 minute video on the proper way to clean them.

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Combine mussels, wine, shallots, garlic and pepper flakes in a large skillet with deep sides or a dutch oven. Cook on high heat for 6-8 minutes until the mussels are opened. Discard any unopened mussels.

Remove the mussels from the pan and when they are cool enough to handle, remove them from their shells. Put them in a bowl, cover and refrigerate. Discard the shells and cooking liquid.

Tear the Boston lettuce and mix with the endive. Divide between 4 plates. Place chilled artichoke on the lettuce. Fill the artichoke cavity with Mussel's. Drizzle a generous amount of Anchovy Vinaigrette over the the mussels. Garnish with fresh herbs. Serve with a couple of thin slices of crostini.