Monday, March 16, 2009

National Artichoke Heart Day

March 16th is National Artichoke Heart Day!

I like artichokes, I love artichokes.

Here is a picture I took in 2002 when I went to Sicily in search of the perfect artichoke.
(I was lucky enough to enjoy a 13 course meal of artichokes in a small restaurant in Cefalu, the self-proclaimed artichoke capital of the world!)

The idea for tonight's meal was artichokes 2 ways: fried baby artichokes with aioli and stuffed and steamed artichokes - the way my mom used to make them.

The cleaned and quartered baby artichokes fried up well, sprinkled with course salt and dipped in aioli they were really good (even after a fellow dinner pointed out that they sort of looked like cockroaches, we all still kept on eating).

The side dish of chick peas with cumin and mustard seeds along with rice and a quick salad of Boston lettuce and honey mustard dressing, round out the meal pretty well.

The stuffed artichokes on the other hand... well they were not as expected.
We cleaned them and stuffed them with minced garlic, olive oil, homemade gf breadcrumbs and topped with a bit of grated Romano cheese. The flavor was there, but they never cooked through fully. I think most of the water burned off (they were being steamed in a veggie steamer inside a pot) and while the bottom of the pot charred, the artichokes just sat there.

Artichokes are just starting to come into season, so it won't be the last time to appreciate these buds this year.

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