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In All It's Blooming Glory...Artichoke Season

While perusing the fresh produce at Pusateri’s the other day, this humungous perfect purple long stemmed thistle spoke to me, a globe artichoke. It said take me home and eat me. I took it home, but it wasn’t for about a week that I had the time to give it some attention. Artichokes are in the slow food category. They take a bit of time to prepare. So one Saturday night while I came down from the high of delivering one of my cooking classes, I took that baby out to eat.

  • It’s not a complicated situation.

  • Just cut off the top about an inch.

  • Quickly cut the tips off all the top heartier leaves.

  • Peel the stem.

  • Rub the cut portions with lemon.

  • Place the artichoke(s) in a big pot of water to fit.

  • Throw in some garlic cloves, a cut lemon, and a couple of tablespoons of good quality olive oil.

  • Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes until tender.

  • Skim the bottom of each leaf with your teeth, one by one, until the scratchy choke part is reached.

  • Remove the choke part, scraping with a spoon.

  • Devour heart.

  • Done, done, and done.

  • Napkin please.

Artichokes hardly need any condiment to make them taste better. That night, craving lemon, I decided to combine:

Sun Dried Tomato Aioli (multiply for the number of people)

1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise

a couple of squeezes of lemon

microplaned lemon rind

1 teaspoon chopped sun dried tomato in oil

And, low and behold this dip was out of this world with the perfect purple thistle leaves, heart, stem and all.

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