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Posts Tagged ‘artichoke’

One of the delights of spring:  artichokes.  This is a yummy little recipe that I came across to prepare baby artichokes to then be used in any number of ways.  They can be sliced and tossed into salads, chopped in to a fine puree for crostini, tossed into a pasta dish, or cut into 1/4’s to nibble as finger food with olives and cheese…imagine the possibilities!

Braised baby artichokes with white wine, thyme, and shallots adapted from Edible Marin and Wine Country, Spring 2010

I recommend doubling or tripling the recipe- they’re a little time-consuming to prepare, but so wonderful to have on hand!

  • 12 baby artichokes
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot sliced into rings
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • water

Prepare the artichokes by trimming about 1/2-inch off the top and trimming the stems to about 1/2-inch long.  Use a paring knife to pare back the tough outer stem.  Peel off the outer leaves until you reach the tender inner leaves.  Throw away the trimmings.  As you work, place the pared artichokes in a bowl of water that has been acidulated with the juice of the lemon.

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add the olive oil.  Add the shallots and garlic, cooking gently until they become soft and translucent.  Add the bay leaf, thyme and wine.  Bring to a simmer.  Add the artichokes, salt, and enough water to just cover.  Simmer gently until the hearts of the artichokes become tender and can be easily pierced with a knife.

Remove the artichokes from the cooking liquid to cool.  Once cool, place them back in their liquid to store until you are ready to use them.  Yum!


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Flirt

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!

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