Artichokes and Dill, Doubly Delicious
There are a number of reasons I am especially grateful to get artichokes (usually considered a spring vegetable on the west coast) in the late summer and fall. One reason is that it allows me to prepare Alfredo Viazzi’s Artichoke Pasta to accompany the exquisite late summer dish of carrots, beets, and zucchini as the maestro intended (I will be making every effort to post that vegetable recipe while you can still make it this year). Another reason is that it gives me an opportunity to write about my very favorite vegetable just in time for the second anniversary of Weekend Herb Blogging, the inspiring blogging event founded more or less by accident two years ago this week at Kalyn’s Kitchen. A third reason: they are artichokes! I want to have them all the time!
Kalyn suggests that we observe this auspicious occasion by posting a recipe that combines a favorite vegetable and a favorite herb. It so happens that one of my favorite preparations involves artichokes and dill, but it is so simple I am a little embarrassed to call it a recipe. I trim the artichokes, wash them obsessively, and cook them in one inch of boiling water, and serve them with this dill vinaigrette. You can also make them easier to eat by removing the center leaves and choke for your guests. Hmm, maybe it is not as simple as I thought.
Deceptively Simple Artichokes
Artichokes (any size, any shape, any amount)
Wash the artichokes obsessively and soak them in acidulated water to coax out stubborn dirt and bugs. Trim off the stems and tops of the artichokes, and use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the spikes off each leaf in a graduated fashion (I suppose you may skip this step if you really cannot bear to do it, but see how cute they are). At this point, give them another bath just to make sure they are dirt- and bug-free.
Bring one inch of lightly salted water to the boil in a pot large enough for your artichokes and set them in the pot on their little bottoms, so the bottoms can seethe as the tops steam. Stick the stems in the gaps. They have delicious artichoke flesh as well. Cover and cook until the hearts are tender—forty minutes for the real gigantors, less for smaller varieties. Serve the artichokes hot, warm, or room temperature with melted butter or dill vinaigrette. For an especially user-friendly presentation, spread open the outer leaves, and pull out the innermost leaves but keep them in their little floriform cluster. Scrape out and discard the fuzz, and pour some vinaigrette into the heart. Now replace the inner-leaf bouquet on top. That’s nice.
Happy anniversary herb bloggers and congratulations Kalyn.Food and Drink, Recipes, Cooking, Food, whb, Weekend Herb Blogging,