Artichokes. I love them, always have. My mom buys these grilled baby artichokes in olive oil from an import store that I could eat straight from the jar for weeks before getting sick of them. I love them streamed, grilled, fried, just the hearts on a sandwiches… But I’d never made myself an artichoke, somehow, and last night I finally did. Ben got home around 9 from his two days in Boston, and I grilled garlic-cheddar sausages, baked potatoes and steamed artichokes so they’d be ready around when he got back.
To steam artichokes: Cut off the top of each artichoke, maybe about the top inch. I used a serrated knife. Use scissors to trim the tips of the other leaves if you want to avoid painful stabby injuries from the spines (artichokes are nettles!), and cut off the stem and a bit of the base so it sits flat.
Put water and a couple cloves of garlic (peeled and cut in half) in the bottom of a pan, under a steamer; bring to a boil and put in the artichokes. Steam for 30-40 minutes, until you can easily pull off a leaf (use tongs, there’s lots of steam in there!). I forgot to keep an eye on the water level and ended up boiling the pan dry, so I’ll be more careful next time. I melted some butter to dip the leaves in and cut the heart up into once the leaves were gone–I think Ben was freaked by the choke, which is all fuzzy and spiny and a little hard to scrape out, but it was so fun to eat an artichoke again!
When I put the potato and artichoke on the plate with the sausage, I realized I’d accidentally made a winking smiley face (excuse the blurry picture):
How funny is that?