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Artichokes


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just back from barcelona where at my favourite tapas bar, i ate fried artichokes for breakfast every day, along with a glass of wine. (isn't barcelona fab!).

the arthchokes must have been the baby size, tough outer leaves trimmed, only hearts plus tender inner leaves, cut into sort of little wedges or chips, and fried in olive oil then salty. i think they might possibly have been tossed with a tiny bit of flour and salt before frying but only a little tiny bit.

crisp and golden, divine.

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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I just used this in an aphrodisiac class: mix grated gruyere cheese with a little garlic and parsley in a food processor until it holds together when pinched between the fingers.

Then take an artichoke quarter (I used canned ones for this) and top it with a little of the filling, then another artichoke quarter. Wrap with a thin slice of prosciutto and run under the broiler for a couple of minutes on each side, until the cheese melts and the prosciutto gets crisp.

Just want to tell you thanks for posting this tidbit. I did them last night for friends and they were a huge hit! Very simple and VERY tasty...plus, something you don't see everywhere you go. :biggrin:

I also tried them out on some friends....and they vanished! Many thanks for the recipe.

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did i mention i was named after an artichoke? or rather, after a woman who was miss artichoke 1947 in watsonville california?

Shoot, Marlena. I grew up in Watsonville, where we picked artichokes from the back yard! I was an adult before I knew they were considered unusual. However, some thousands and thousands of artichokes later, I had one of the best of my life. In the back of The Mad Hatter bar on Geary in SF, (I can't remember if Nancy Oakes was still cooking there or if she had passed the baton to Barney Brown) I was served a giant artichoke, "stuffed" with seafood in a tomato broth: crab, scallops, calamari, perfectly seasoned broth. I can't remember how we attacked it, but I don't remember it's being particularly messy. And, :laugh: maybe it was just so good I didn't care! This is a dish worth trying to duplicate.

eGullet member #80.

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I have been eating artichokes since I was a child. My Italian grandmother grew and prepared them. I have 4 plants in my garden that are coming into season. I love Duarte's restaurant in Pescadero. The Cream of Artichoke soup is fantastic. The Cream of Green Cchili mixed w/ the artichoke is even better. Really! They have wonderful pies as well. They grow most all of their herbs and vegetables behind the restaurant. Sometimes you can get abalone. Our family has been dining there for many, many years. I was married at St. Anthony's in Pescadero. It is off the beaten path, but definately worth the trip.

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  • 3 weeks later...
I have been eating artichokes since I was a child. My Italian grandmother grew and prepared them. I have 4 plants in my garden that are coming into season...

does anyone know (tirgoddess?) the length of time it takes artichokes to get to fruit from germination? i'm thinking that even though i live in a northern climate, with the help of indoor germination, grow-lights, small plastic mini-greenhouses, etc., i *might* be able to cheat them into growing here... (zone 5b) :smile:

then again, i could just buy them... :laugh:

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."

--Isak Dinesen

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Yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle Food Section's lead article was about artichokes. It includes a discussion of the growing season and how they are harvested.

Among other recipes, there is one for Incanto's Shaved Artichoke, Arugula & Parmesan Salad . The recipe notes:

Note that you need a mandoline, V-slicer or other manual slicing device to shave the raw artichokes thinly enough for this salad.

Cheers,

Squeat

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I must confess that the plants that I have in my yard are from the previous owner. I don't know how my grandmother started her plants at my childhood home. I am confident that in broad hardiness zones that you could start plants from shoots from your nursery, with tlc they will develop. I would also encourage folks to look at their local grocery for frozen or canned hearts. These products are suprisingly good, and are most likely from Ocean Mist (see SF Chron thread above). For folks who want to grow at home, I would suggest looking at the micro climates of your yard. Find a spot that will most duplicate the climate for a sucessful harvest. Sometimes these spots are most elusive, I have orchids that sit outside my clothes dryer vent all winter. They are sheltered by our eves and they receive some humidity on a regular basis and they bloom faithfuly every year. Be creative!

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  • 2 weeks later...

does anyone know (tirgoddess?) the length of time it takes artichokes to get to fruit from germination? i'm thinking that even though i live in a northern climate, with the help of indoor germination, grow-lights, small plastic mini-greenhouses, etc., i *might* be able to cheat them into growing here... (zone 5b)  :smile:

Most artichoke varieties don't produce buds the first season. There are ways to "trick" them into producing in the first year, but it's not easy. This Page mentions a variety called Imperial Star that is supposed to produce in the first season. I tried growing some a few years back. The plants were beautiful but barely yielded the tiniest buds before the first frost got to 'em. :angry:

I didn't fool with trying to "trick" them into thinking they'd gone through a short winter as the linked page suggests. I also started them rather late in the spring. I don't have a proper greenhouse, just a sunny windowsill that's already crowded with herbs. Maybe next year I'll try again, using the quick cold season trick - too late for this year.

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  • 4 weeks later...

have not had much experience with artichokes other than eating them...got 8 really cheap, steamed them last night and put in the fridge, took them out and they are BLACK did not use lemon..is there anything i can do with them? i was going to serve some cold and stuff some .

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Depending on how much you trimmed it to start, some of the inner leaves may still be okay. Otherwise, just go with the hearts. Maybe dice them up and use them to stuff mushrooms.

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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I will agree with the venerable Mr. Perlow. Trim them down to the hearts and make a nice pasta. Better Luck next time.

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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the blackening one usually gets with artichokes is caused by an enzymatic reaction, which should have been prevented by the cooking. maybe they were undercooked? anyway, if it is enzymatic, i haven't noticed much flavor damage from it, though it does look uglier than sin.

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You could also lie and say that they are an exotic strain of black artichoke grown only in the Himalayas and fertilized by the dung of the rare singing yak. :laugh:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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You could also lie and say that they are an exotic strain of black artichoke grown only in the Himalayas and fertilized by the dung of the rare singing yak. :laugh:

Roflmao!!!!! That sounds like something I would do! :laugh:

Deb

Liberty, MO

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Assuming the artichokes are still good, you could always make a ragout with these "black" artichokes with a little bacon or duck fat, red wine, stock and butter. Maybe some morel mushrooms too...

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It is fine, you cooked the chokes last night and they sat in the fridge.

But hey, you ain't gonna wanna eat that stuff.

One time, carved a turkey (no, thank goodness it was not Thanksgiving) and found it riddled with black spots.

They were probably just dried blood spots. Why they were there, I had no idea.

Safe to eat, I thought so.

But did we want to eat it?

Heck no, we went to Plan B, spaghetti and meatballs.

Use the bottoms if you want; write the rest off to experience.

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  • 6 months later...

I love simple, steamed artichokes. But I grew up dipping the leaves in oh-so-unhealthy hollandaise sauce.

I'm looking for something lighter, but not too sharp (I've tried an oil/balsamic vinegar combo but it tasted too much like salad dressing). In my mind artichokes should be dipped in something tangy and creamy. Any suggestions?

What do you use?

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dipping sauces for artichokes

Pesto Mayonnaise

Dijon Vinaigrette

Tarragon Mayonnaise

Lemon Butter Sauce

from cookingvillage.com:

Dipping sauces for artichokes don’t have to be the usual caloric lemon-or herb-butters, flavored mayonnaise-based dips, or oil-rich viniagrettes. You can cut calories by dipping the leaves in various salsas, or yogurt-based sauces, or even your favorite commercial low-calorie salad dressing.
:wink:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I like to use Roumelaide, or sometimes blue cheese dressing... Sausage cheese dip is a good match too.

none of these are really much healthier though...

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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