Monday, May 21, 2012

Steamed artichokes with creamy lemon and chive sauce


Artichokes can be a lot of work for not a lot of reward, in my opinion. I love artichoke hearts, and even baby artichokes, but cooking a regular artichoke is a rare event for me. I did it recently because my husband went grocery shopping with me and decided that he'd like some artichokes. If you are like me and slightly intimidated by the thought of cooking an artichoke, I highly recommend this great tutorial post from Simply Recipes. Once you battle the spines on the ends of the leaves and accept that the artichoke is going to discolor as it cooks, you begin to feel better about cooking them (and figuring out exactly how you eat them). Once that happens, you'll start to enjoy the slow process of peeling apart the warm artichoke, dipping it in a cold sauce, and gently pulling the bit of good flesh off each leaf with your teeth. It becomes sort of a serene process. And, don't forget the heart. Once you pull off all the leaves, scrape out the choke with a spoon, and eat the heart. This recipe will serve four people as a side.

Steamed artichokes with creamy lemon and chive sauce
4 artichokes
1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
water
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
3 tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt
2 tablespoons mayo
pinch of sea salt and a grind of black pepper

Prepare the artichokes by cutting off most of the stems and about 1/2 to 1 inch of the tops. Then use kitchen shears to cut the top off of each remaining leaf (to remove the spike). Pull off the smaller leaves near the stem and/or the first row. Place in a bowl of cold water with the juice of half a lemon until you finish with all the artichokes.

Add about 2 inches of water to a pot along with 1 clove of smashed garlic, a bay leaf, and the rind of the lemon half from the juice you used above (cut into a couple of pieces). Add a steaming basket to the pot, place the artichokes in the basket, and cover with the lid. Cook over medium heat until the water begins to boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 35-50 minutes (this will vary depending on the size of your artichokes). You'll want to be able to slide a knife or fork into the stem/bottom of the artichoke with no resistance.

In the meantime, prepare the dipping sauce. Combine the chives, yogurt, mayo, salt, pepper, along with the zest and juice of the remaining lemon half and the remaining garlic clove that has been grated in a small bowl. Mix well and refrigerate until serving time.

When the artichokes are fully cooked, remove from the basket. Let cool slightly and then pull off the leaves, dip, and eat. 


What was I cooking one year ago?: eggs, bacon, and asparagus with roasted yellow pepper sauce
Two years ago?: roasted asparagus and goat cheese salad with honey-balsamic vinaigrette 

15 comments:

  1. Wow! I have never tried to cook my own artichoke. I just didn't have any idea what to do with it. Thanks for the great instructions and the link to the Simply Recipes post. I think I'll brave the artichoke sometime soon!

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  2. i've tried it once, but it was alot of work and it didn't wow me like I expected... maybe i should check out these links first!

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  3. I agree - I'm not usually motivated to cook artichokes. But give me a creamy sauce to dip the leaves in, and I'm in!

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  4. oooh- I love eating artichokes like this!

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  5. I love artichokes, but I have never cook them at home! I should try this year!

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  6. i've never steamed artichokes... looks so yummy in combination with lemon. DELISH!

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  7. I STILL haven't tried artichokes. I need to get on this!

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  8. I think I may be more interested in the sauce than the artichoke. I'm so bad!

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  9. The last time I made fresh artichokes I said never again! So much work for a few minutes of enjoyment. I'm sure at some point I'll forget and dive back in. Especially since these look amazing! That sauce is divine.

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  10. I know how hard this work is and cheers to you for the trouble you went to! I am sure the result rewarded you!

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  11. Dealing with those prickly spines is so worth it for a dish like this! This combo of flavors sounds so perfect for artichokes - yum! :)

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  12. I'm one of those people who are very much intimidated by an artichoke. I never knew what it tastes like. And feel like I should not know.... Like the measurements of my waistline.

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  13. I've always been a bit uncertain about how to cook artichokes... thanks for the great post... I might have to give it a go:)

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  14. I love artichokes but never seem to make them for the same reason. The sauce you made to go with the leaves sounds so delicious! Worth it.

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  15. What a great way to prepare and serve artichokes! This looks so delicious, Amy.

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