I grew up eating whole artichokes with homemade mayo for dipping. These were a treat, something my mother and I would share or, when I was big enough, eat side by side. If we were eating the same head, there would always be a bit of tension when we got down to the heart, the best part. My mother would usually give it to me, after making sure to scrape out all remnants of the choke. I had pictured my death at the hand of an artichoke many times, but so long as there was someone around to double check my cleaning job, the danger only made the heart all the more desirable.
I never remembered artichokes as a seasonal treat, but now I realize they must have been. Lately, the markets have been full of them, and when I see a beautiful bin, I can’t help but grab a pair (carefully) for my weekday lunches.
Whole steamed artichokes are still one of my favorite meals when I am alone. I remember calling my mother up on the phone the first time I tried to make them myself. And then again years later when I tried to recreate them for this recipe.
I came upon a great recipe for braised artichokes on Pinterest and knew I had to branch out of my habitual choke rut to try it. You simply clean the chokes, place them in a baking dish with white wine, thyme, garlic, salt, and olive oil. Then let them steam away. The braising liquid creates such a flavorful sauce, slipping into every last leaf, that you don’t even need mayo for dipping. Though when it comes to mayo, I say, why not gild the lily?
I’m not going to lie to you: they are quite a bit of work, so this recipe might be a once a season occurrence. But it’s SO worth it.
See below for step by step instructions on how to clean the artichokes. I manage to prick myself every time. But what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
Inspired by Gourmande in the Kitchen Ingredients Instructions
Inspired by Gourmande in the Kitchen