My children love artichokes. I realize this seems a bit of an odd thing to proclaim, but it is decidedly true in our house. My four-year-old daughter will bat her eyelashes and flash the puppy dog eyes at us next to the stand. "Please can we buy the ar-jokes today, please?"
It's gotten to the point where they have turned to begging for them even when they're not in season. (I cannot complain, as artichokes are a naturally fat and cholesterol free food, a good source of vitamin C and high in fiber.) My kids are somewhat distracted by the marinated varieties that grace our pastas and become creamy dips during the holidays, but only once spring rolls in and fresh artichokes are basted on the grill or roasted in the oven are they truly satisfied.
My favorite way to eat artichokes is with a dipping sauce, either aioli or hollandaise. Aioli is gorgeous made from scratch, but you can cheat by adding lemon juice and garlic to mayonnaise, too. Do you have a favorite way that you serve artichokes?
Roasted Artichokes with Hollandaise
4 artichokes (3-4″ in diameter)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 375° F. Rinse the artichokes and peel off the outer petals of the globe. Cut the stem to a short nub. Fill a large bowl with water and squeeze the lemon into the water, saving the halves. Cut 1" off the tip of the artichoke. Rub the cut pieces with the lemon halves and then submerge the entire artichoke in the lemon water.
When all the artichokes are prepped, drain and place stem side down in a baking dish. Pour ¼ cup water into the bottom and drizzle artichokes with olive oil. Roast uncovered for 50-55 minutes. Serve with hollandaise sauce.
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Start a small amount of water simmering for a double boiler. Using electric beaters or a whisk, beat together egg yolks and lemon juice in a double boiler off heat until thick and the volume doubles. Place the double boiler over the simmering water and whisk rapidly. Slowly drizzle in melted butter while whisking until all the butter is added and the sauce is thick. Remove from the heat and add in cayenne and salt. Serve with roasted artichokes.
Editor’s Note: Artichokes are a wonderful spring vegetable that can be grown in nearly every climate of the United States. For another idea of how to cook with artichokes, check out Shaina’s Grilled Lemon, Asparagus and Artichoke Spring Pasta recipe.
Photo by Shaina Olmanson
Sources Cited: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, VegetableGardener.com
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