I love artichokes, but I've never seen them growing until today.
I came across some in the front yard of a house in our neighborhood.
I think spring is the season for artichokes, but that big one looks ready to eat. Don't they look amazing?
My favorite artichoke preparation comes from (who else) Mom. She often makes these in the spring/summer (we must have greater access than the rest of the country, since we find them in early summer too).
The recipe comes from one of our favorite cookbooks: The Occasional Vegetarian by Karen Lee. The vinaigrette makes a wonderful dressing for salads, grilled vegetables, or crudites.
4 large artichokes
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
Trim each artichoke leaf (easiest with scissors) to remove the sharp edges. Insert the garlic slices between the leaves.
Bring about 4 inches of water to a boil in a pot. Add the salt, artichokes, and a drizzle of olive oil. Cover the pot and boil until the artichokes are tender, 25-30 minutes.
Before serving, cut each artichoke in half and remove the fibrous core with a spoon. They can be served hot, at room temperature, or cold. (serves 4-8)
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until thoroughly blended. The vinaigrette will keep for several days in the refrigerator. Whisk a little to reincorporate if needed.