Wonderful friends of ours host an annual artichoke lunch. It’s one of those – if you know, you know kind of things. Their family farm grows artichokes and every year they open up their home, Casa Mori, cook a ton of artichoke dishes and have a party. This is a “mean-ish” blog post because this isn’t a restaurant or an easily accessible experience. What I do promise, is when they send out invites next year – I’ll let you all know.
But for now this is a blog post just for me about a really beautiful lunch with really lovely people. And if you’re looking for an excuse to head out to Stellies you can read more of my posts over here!
Our big Sunday lunch started off with a bubbly car bar! This was a first for me and a sign of great things to come. Organising a driver and a van was a brilliant idea by my dear friend B over at The Secret Life of Bee. I love heading out to Stellies but normally one of us has to behave to drive home.
The Big Casa Mori Lunch
Team Casa Mori luckily booked perfect weather for lunch. We arrived to bubbles with a splash of bitter artichoke syrup. This was such a lovely refreshing aperitivo to start the day. We sipped on bubbles, admired the view and snacked on crispy artichoke chips!
We started with an amazing artichoke, feta and garlic stuffed loaf of bread with olive oil and generous crunches of salt. Next up was a light and fresh artichoke, prawn and prosciutto salad. I loved all these flavours mixed together with the perfectly cooked prawns being the highlight!
My favourite dish was the whole artichoke with caper mayonnaise. I have only eaten whole artichokes at Casa Mori and was luckily enough to have a briefing on how to eat them from Mama Mori! You start from the outside in, picking each leaf, dipping it in caper mayo and pulling the fleshy bottom through your teeth. It is absolutely heavenly and such a magic dish! I think I need to beg Mama Mori for this recipe some time soon!
The Main Event
After a little sunshine break and a wine top up we were back to lunch. Main course was this incredible rack of lamb served with an artichoke bean mash and a pine nut stuffed artichoke heart. Lamb chops is my death row meal of choice. I thought I had found my lamb chop chef based on an incredible dinner at Blanko. However, I might have found a new chef to cook my lamb! This dish was incredible! I loved the lamb which paired beautifully with the artichoke bean mash. And the stuffed artichoke heart was an absolute delight all on its own. In fact, I could just have had a plate of stuffed hearts and more of that caper mayo for dipping!!
Dessert was an orange tartlet with cynar caramel (artichoke based bittersweet liqueur) and orange crisp. This was the perfect light ending to a truly lovely lunch.
Our lunch was incredible and made by wonderful friends and their family in their home kitchen. It is truly astonishing the calibre of food they can produce and the wonderful experience we had in their home.
Thank you, as always, Clarke, Yolanda and Marilyn.