26 October 2013

Eating artichokes

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.


  1. Spectacular photos. The artichoke that looks like it fills the room reminds of an artist that I can't for the life of me place right now. These are the most beautiful artichokes I've seen. I love artichoke hearts but have never been able to find pleasure in sticking the leaves in my mouth, scraping the pulp with my teeth and then placing the remainder on my plate. It's unfortunate... and sometimes embarrassing when a host very proudly presents them at dinner. I've tried.

  2. How I adore artichokes! Unlike
    Mitchell, I could happily strip
    the leaves of two or three globes
    in one sitting. There's always the
    reward of the heart too.

    And it's endive season over there
    now. isn't it? Another great fav.

  3. Sheila, are you psychic? I cooked endives today -- the ones we call Belgian endives in the U.S. Just as I put the dish in the oven, the front gate bell rang. It was B and J-L, Belgian friends of Martine's who are beoming friends of ours too. We had a chat and a glass of wine together in the sunshine on the terrace while the gratin d'endives au jambon was cooking.

  4. mayo is good mixed with siraccha too

  5. I love artichokes too! I cook mine in my pressure cooker and in 20 minutes, they are done and delicious. I eat them plain. (I have been working on other shows after "The Taste". I don't always have time to leave a message but I read yours and Walt's blog everyday).

  6. microwave in waxed paper... perfect!

  7. No such thing as waxed paper in France. I guess 'papier de cuisson' -- parchment paper -- would work too. Never tried it. I like steaming or boiling. My post is really for people who don't have experience cooking artichokes, and I'm sure there are a lot of them.

  8. Ken, your post may be for people who are novices with hearty chokes...
    but I've learnt a lot from your food postings...
    from both your post and the replies!
    Keep on truckin'
    or should that be ... postin'


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