Walt posted a photo of the dried artichokes in our back yard, so I thought I'd post about artichokes that we ate a few days ago. I bought them at the supermarket because they were too appetizing for me to resist.
I've posted about trimming, cooking, and eating artichokes before — here's a link. It's a pretty detailed post that I wrote back in 2007, and if you haven't ever prepared artichokes it will guide you. In addition, it includes a link to Elise's Simply Recipes blog that also gives detailed instructions. And don't neglect to look at the comments on that 2007 post; there are a lot of good ideas in them about cooking artichokes and about sauces to serve with them.
A field of artichokes on the Ile d'Oléron, on the Atlantic coast of France just north of Bordeaux.
This time, we ate the artichokes cold with a dipping sauce. You put the artichoke on your plate upside-down, and then you start pulling off leaves. At the base of each leaf there's a tender morsel of tasty artichoke pulp. Dip that end of the leaf in the sauce, and then scrape off the pulp and sauce with your front teeth.
Be sure to provide a bowl for the remains of the leaves you and your convives have eaten. You'll get the impression that you have more artichoke left when you finish eating that you had when you started. Once you've pulled off all the leaves, you remove the fibrous "choke" and eat the artichoke bottom.
Usually I make a bowl of mayonnaise to have with the artichokes, but this time I didn't bother. I had a jar of mayonnaise in the fridge, so I mixed a half cup of it with one little pot of plain yogurt. The yogurt thins the mayonnaise and cuts the sweetness of store-bought mayo. I seasoned the sauce well with salt and pepper, of course, and also pressed a big clove or garlic and added it to the sauce. It was good.