As a kid, you might say I was a flirt with vegetables. We’d bat our eyes at each other and then I’d push them away. Oh, there were a few that I’d devour, like corn, broccoli, and frozen string beans, but for the most part I had to be coerced in to eating them. Artichokes, however, were never on my “bad” list. They’re a fun finger food. You practically have to play with them to eat them, and plus, there’s the whole dip thing…melted butter, mayo…mmm. My current favorite dip is good ol’ Best Foods mayo, thinned with lemon juice and spiked with Tobasco (thanks to many artichoke extravaganzas with the Shim family- thanks Tommy!).
But oh….the hearts! They are the lovliest of all. The reward at the end of the adventure. Always leaving me wanting just one more. I like to cut the heart up into at least four bites (no matter the size of the artichoke), just to make sure that I have as many mouthfuls of that lovely heart as I possibly can.
And on that note… Eat Your Heart Out! and have a happy Valentine’s Day.
P.S. Don’t know how to cook an artichoke? Oh dear. It’s just so simple. Trim the stalk to a length of about one inch. Use a sharp kitchen knife to trim the top inch off the artichoke and then use pair of kitchen shears to trim the thorns from the remaining leaves. Run under cold, running water, spreading the leaves slightly to rinse out any dirt that may have collected. Bring a pot of salted water to a simmer and add the chokes. Simmer until a knife can easily pierce the underside of the choke (where the heart is). Remove from the boiling water and place upside-down on a plate to drain for 30 seconds or so. Dig in!