Everyday Inspirations

 
 

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After Saturday training runs, Dan and I like to grab lunch on the way home. We often find ourselves at Salt Lake City's Whole Foods market because they have a variety of quick, healthy options that don't make us feel like we've undone all our hard work.

When we walked in yesterday, I saw a special on artichokes. "Dan!" I called. "We have to make artichokes tonight." I excitedly picked out two of the biggest, most beautiful green artichokes.

I don't know about you, but I didn't grow up eating entire artichokes like this -- leaves and all. I had to learn how to make them later in life (I remember I used to look forward to picking up an artichoke for dinner during my senior year of college). Dan had never prepared one himself, and said what I think most people say when encountering this strange looking vegetable: "I wouldn't even know where to start."

{Easy Artichokes}
Serves 2

Ingredients:
- 2 large artichokes
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 2 bay leaves
- Kosher salt
- Melted butter for dipping

To begin, put a large pot of water on the stove. Toss in the kosher salt, two smashed cloves of garlic, and two bay leaves (these ingredients will season the artichokes as they cook). Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, rinse the artichokes in cold water and cut the stems with a knife so they're only about an inch long. You're also technically supposed to trim the points off the leaves at this time, but since I didn't have kitchen scissors, I ignored that step.
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'Trim me!'
When the water is boiling, drop in your artichokes and cover the pot with a lid. Let the artichokes cook for 25-35 minutes, or until you can easily insert your knife into the bottom of the stem (mine only took 25 minutes). Remove from water and let cool. Serve with a side of melted butter.

Wait, wait, wait. How the heck do I eat this thing?

If you've never had artichokes before (or, at least, have never had them like this), you may look at it and think, "You have got to be kidding me." (The veggie is even more intimidating with a certain cook has ignored the trimming step and left the artichoke looking all fierce and pointy.)

Pull off one leaf at a time, starting with the lower outside leaves. The artichoke meat is at the end of the leaf --simply dip in butter and let your teeth scrape off the flesh (discard the rest). Repeat until you get to the core, the heart of the artichoke. The heart will be covered with soft, hairlike thistles. Peel back or scrape off the hair to enjoy the rest of your artichoke.

What do you like to dip your artichoke in? I'm a pretty simple gal... I love a dish of melted butter. I also know mayo is a favorite, but I'm not a big fan of it. Let us know if you have a to-die-for dip for your 'chokes.
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Allison Glinka
4/10/2011 05:43:29 am

I love artichokes! I cut up a lemon and throw it in the water while they boil! I'll have to try your version soon!

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4/10/2011 07:21:59 am

Blender hollandaise is my dip of choice for artichokes. My Mom made this for us as kids - we ate artichokes like crazy when they were in season.

3 egg yolks
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
Dash of cayenne pepper to taste
1/2 c of butter, melted

Put yolks, lemon juice, and cayenne in blender and whirl to mix. While whirling on a low speed, take the center out of the blender cap and pour in butter in a slow stream. Buttery, yummy, frothy, easy. Also great on asparagus. Add tarragon for a quick bernaise sauce.

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ash
4/10/2011 10:13:46 am

Yum! Thanks, Elaine!

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