This is about being incredible and fresh but hardly local. Too bad artichokes aren’t native to New York, but that doesn’t stop the Accidental Locavore from loving them! Wandering through Whole Foods is an interesting experience on any day. Last week they had magnificent giant “long stem” artichokes. I was walking around holding a pair of them, which turned out to be a good way of making new friends.
- One man told me he wished he lived in New York so he could have some of those artichokes. He said he eats his dipped in blue cheese dressing, which was an interesting idea.
- The woman in front of me in the very, very, long line, had a single artichoke, and we started talking about how we cook them. People are always surprised when they hear that I steam them in the microwave.
To do that, cut off the stem at the base of the artichoke. If, like these, there is a long stem, you can peel it and steam it too, just be careful to peel it down to the core, or it will be bitter. Rinse them.
Now here’s the not very green part…I wrap them in Saran Wrap, but you can wrap them in parchment paper if cooking in plastic makes you squeamish. Depending on the size of the artichokes, and the strength of your microwave, cook them for 5-10 minutes. You can check to see if they’re cooked, by pressing on the base of the stem, it should give when they are fully cooked.
If I’m eating them hot, I’ll just melt some butter, and add a squirt of lemon juice. Sometimes I let them cool down, and make a vinaigrette with balsamic vinegar, a little lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. You can add some Dijon mustard, a minced shallot, or some crushed or finely minced garlic too. To be really indulgent, Hollandaise sauce is my absolute favorite!
What are some of your favorite things to dip artichokes in?