Before I begin - so sorry that this is late (again, I know). This week has been nutty, and very exciting at the same time! Anyways...
So I have this thing about eating dinner...
Basically, whatever meal (at dinner time) I eat needs to be accompanied by some vegetable(s) soaked in olive oil and vinegar (see this green salad). If I don't get some kind of acid with my dinner meal, I end up attacking the pickle jar like it's nobody's business. Maybe it's a vitamin deficiency or something, but I've always been this way, though it used to be worse...I have been known to pour red wine vinegar into a coffee cup and drink it like juice. Yowza. However, I did manage to find the only man on the planet who feels the same way about vinegar that I do.
K so we've established that we are a salad eating couple. But in all honesty, sometimes I just want something a little different then lettuce or cabbage. One of my very favorite treats growing up was a perfectly steamed artichoke sitting in a little bit of oil and vinegar, salt and pepper. It was the only way I'd ever experienced. I remember being shocked when I'd heard that it was common practice to eat artichokes with butter or mayonnaise (have I mentioned I detest mayonnaise? as in...physical aversion to it). I recently introduced Damir to this yummy little side dish and now he's a huge fan as well.
By the way, there is only one way to properly eat an artichoke in my opinion. First get through all of the leaves (dip in the oil and vinegar, scrape out the soft yummy bits with your teeth and throw the excess into a bowl). Once you get to the inner most leaves, pull them off together, and bite off the soft parts all at once. Then scoop out the fuzzy parts of the heart (I'm sure there are more technical terms for these parts...but hey...this is what I've called it my whole life). Finally, it's the best part. Cut up the heart and let it sop up the last of the oil and vinegar mixture and slowly savor each bite. I'm always sad when this part is over, and had a habit of looking around the table to see if anyone had missed a piece or wasn't going to finish their artichoke.
Medium to large artichoke
red wine vinegar
What you do is simple...
take an artichoke and with a serrated knife cut off the top and stem and score an x into the base (see above photos). snip the pointy ends off the the leaves with scissors. place into the basket of a steamer and steam for 45 minutes to an hour, until a fork easily pierces the base of the artichoke and its nice and tender. let cool until it can be easily handled. in a dish with a lip - kind of like a large soup bowl - sprinkle some salt and pepper, drizzle a little bit of olive oil and canola oil (remember? I like to mix these oils because sometimes too much olive oil overwhelms me) and vinegar to make a nice light vinaigrette. sit the artichoke on top of this vinaigrette then have at it!
side note: if you don't have a steamer basket (i didn't used to) it is perfectly fine to boil the artichokes, but when you take them out of the boiling water make sure to carefully flip them over to drain all of the liquid.
Healthy, nutritious, delicious AND pretty to photograph! enjoy!