Artichoke Madness + RECIPE: Artichoke & Hollandaise

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You guys!!!  I bought my very first artichoke!!!!  Ever. And I was so excited about it!!!!  I bought it pre-Valentine’s Day (for five whole dollars much to Mr. Carrot’s dismay) because it seemed like the sexiest most romantic thing to eat on Valentine’s Day and therefore obviously worth $5 but then….. I waited over a week to cook it because it really scared me in all its cute little green spiky glory. A couple days ago I found this helpful little tutorial on cooking artichokes and so finally, we steamed it up for dinner tonight.

It wasn’t even that hard!  Just some trimming and steaming and it was ready! After the artichoke was steamed it actually wasn’t that much less intimidating though.  Like knowing what part of an artichoke you are supposed to eat is not so obvious. In fact it’s so not obvious that I actually Googled “How to eat an artichoke” and thank goodness Google came through in a pinch as we stared down at our gorgeous exotic steamed vegetable.

Dip white fleshy end in melted butter or sauce. Tightly grip the other end of the petal. Place in mouth, dip side down, and pull through teeth to remove soft, pulpy, delicious portion of the petal. Discard remaining petal.

Thanks Google! Oh and, by the way, I was totally right about the sexy thing!! Eating an artichoke is so sexy and romantic. Peeling away the layers and dipping them into a warm, rich sauce and then sucking the white pulp from the petal. Oh my gosh is there anything sexier than that?! You just keep peeling and dipping and sucking until there is no more. We were even sitting on the floor as we divulged. I’m so sorry that I didn’t try this all before Valentine’s Day so I could have given you the best date idea ever. Sexy artichoke picnic in the middle of the living room!!

We dipped our artichoke in hollandaise sauce because melted butter seemed too heavy and I hate making aioli and those are the most obvious choices, plus my husband makes a damn good hollandaise sauce. Yeah, the man who says he can’t cook! We went through a very long eggs Benedict phase (probably too long) where Mr. Carrot learned how to adeptly whip up hollandaise on a whim, even if it’s been months since the last time. And that I am so grateful for! I’ve included the recipe for my Carrot’s quick, easy hollandaise, but I’m warning you that I still can’t ever get it to work so super sorry if it frustrates you more than it delights…  Good luck!

-Leek

P.S. Why doesn’t anyone ever make metaphors about tricky, puzzling, hard-to-get-to-know people being artichokes?! Artichokes have so many layers.  You just keep peeling and peeling and as you keep peeling, you keep on getting closer to the heart. Could there be a better metaphor than that?!  People are artichokes. Anyone still following me?

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ARTICHOKE & HOLLANDIASE

Takes 45-55 minutes
Makes enough for 2

1 artichoke
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 egg yolk
4 tablespoons melted butter

Prepare artichoke according to these super smart and detailed directions (with pictures!!).
To prepare hollandaise sauce, combine water, lemon juice and egg yolk together in a small glass bowl with a whisk. Stir until smooth.
Bring a small amount of water to boil in a small saucepan (small enough that you can set the bowl on top without it touching the water). Once the water is boiling, set the small bowl over the water, turn the heat to low and whisk mixture constantly as you slowly add the butter. Whisk slowly for 5 minutes until thick.
Add salt and pepper (or other spices) to taste. Dip artichoke leaves into hollandaise!!!

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