36. Something with real artichokes

spring
Happy Spring!

Apparently this blog is also becoming a series of confessions.

Confession: I had never eaten what I’m calling a “real” artichoke until just a few days ago. The only kind I have ever bought are the artichoke hearts they sell in the jar. And of course spinach and artichoke dip, which I just generally assume also uses the pre-prepared kind.

So I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I got the April edition of Eating Well magazine and there was a whole section on Spring/Easter type recipes, and there was an artichoke recipe. I got motivated to go ahead and take the plunge on this one.

I’m embarrassed to say that a lot of googling was involved in this preparation. Including “how to eat artichokes” where I found a very helpful YouTube video!

Long story short, I thought it was great! I was disappointed that I had only bought one for fear of not liking it.

I roasted the artichoke and had it with a garlic butter sauce – it was incredibly tasty, with or without the butter sauce to dip it in! I took the recipe from From a Chef’s Kitchen and made just a few slight changes based on what I had at home. You can see my version with changes below! I highly recommend this recipe for an introduction into artichokes because it was a) easy and b) mild but delicious (and used mostly things you’d have at home already, aside from the actual artichokes!). I’m so glad that I did this, now I have a whole new vegetable in my life to experiment with! I can’t wait to make again.

 

AND… it kept really well! I brought half for lunch the next day and reheated in the microwave, it was still very, very good! The lemon kind of settled in overnight I guess, because it was very lemony and delicious the next day. If you have something to eat with it, you can get by with half the artichoke. But when I make this again, I’ll probably make two whole ones because it’s so good.

artichokes7

Lessons learned here:

  1. Kudos to whoever was the first human to try an artichoke. They are kind of terrifying looking and a bit of work to get any yummy meat off of them, but thanks for your discovery!
  2. Sometimes you have to wing it with your herbs and spices based on what you’ve got. In this case I straight up forgot to buy the thyme and rosemary. So I used dried thyme from my spice rack and just sort of added a little of this and a little of that to get more flavor. In the end, it will be FINE. Don’t be that person that has to follow recipes like an exact science. Live a little.
  3. I’ve been buying it for years, but if you haven’t tried those Earth Balance buttery spreads, get on it! They are really great, especially if you have dietary restrictions like myself. I’m partial to the one with olive oil. It was a great replacement in this recipe to keep it light but still taste great.
  4. This is not a new lesson, but I’ll say it again…TRY NEW THINGS. It is super fun and you get a feeling of accomplishment.

ROASTED ARTICHOKES WITH GARLIC BUTTER

[inspired by From a Chef’s Kitchen]

Ingredients

1 large artichoke
2 lemons
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
6 whole cloves of garlic
dried thyme
4 Tbsp. Earth balance buttery spread with olive oil (or regular butter if you prefer)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Add the juice of one lemon to a large bowl of water, filled with enough water to cover the halved artichoke
  3. Trim the dry stem end of the artichoke (place in lemon water)
    4. Remove any tough outer leaves from around the base of the artichoke stem (place in lemon water)
    5. Trim about 1 inch off the top of the artichoke
    6. If necessary, trim the spikes off the leaves of the artichoke (When I purchased my artichoke,k this had already been done for me)
    7. Cut the artichoke in half from top to bottom
    8.Scoop out the choke from the center of the artichoke (all the fuzzy stuff)
    9. Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a roasting pan or casserole dish just large enough to hold both halves of the artichoke
    10. Season the artichokes with salt and black pepper and place 3 garlic cloves inside the hole of the artichoke where you scooped out the fuzzy stuff.  Place a lemon on top and flip over, cut side down, and place in the roasting dish (let the lemon hold the garlic inside)
    11. Drizzle with olive oil
    12. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and roast for 45-50 minutes.
    13. Once the artichoke is finished up, remove the now roasted garlic from inside the artichoke. Add the butter and garlic to a sauce pan and melt the butter, stirring the garlic in (I used a garlic press to get small pieces of garlic to incorporate into the butter)Side note: I also added some basil citrus seasoning to the butter since I didn’t have some of the herbs called for in the original recipe, I figured I may need more flavor!

    14. Serve the artichokes with the butter!

    And just in case you need it… here’s this “How to eat an artichoke” video 😉


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