Keith brought home two bouquets this week and I’m not sure which was better. One arrived with scarred and flaking petals and my heart leaped, “Yes!, frost kissed artichokes. It is that time of year!”
The other arrived with a bottle of champagne to celebrate our first published book (!!!). One makes me happy every time it steals my gaze from the dining room table, the other is all about flavor.
In the spring, we have artichokes at least once a week, perhaps even more often (ahem. Keith is rolling his eyes.) I love them! And the frost kissed are the best. So when you see them in forlorn piles at the market or, better still, peeking out from a leafy plant in your backyard, don’t be fooled by the ugly visage. Slice off the top, snip the sharp tips off the leaves, then rinse. Dress the tops with a swirl of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper, then nestle in a large steamer basket. Steam for 35 to 50 minutes depending on the size – you’ll know they’re tender when a leaf toward the heart pulls out easily. Enjoy the leaves and heart (after you’ve spooned out the fuzzy choke) dipped in mayonnaise, aioli, melted butter, or olive oil. Spring bliss!