Do you guys love artichokes? It’s one of my absolute favorite vegetables. I love them in salads, pasta, even spiced and then roasted with chickpeas. But my favorite way to eat artichokes is as a spread, with a little country roll. If you love the taste of artichokes, this is a simple and delicious way to enjoy it without (too) much cooking. I used fresh artichokes since they’re in season now and I was in one of those moods to ruthlessly cut through some artichokes during lunch time. If you don’t want to cook at all (and really, who can blame you, it’s August), just use a can of artichoke hearts in water, making sure to rinse them well first.
4 medium to large artichokes
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1.5 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 tbsp water
2 tbsp capers, plus 3 tbsp brine
1. To trim the artichokes, wash them and use a paring knife to go around the outer layer of the artichoke. Cut away the stem (trim the bottom 1/2″) and peel off the outer layer and set aside. Go around the entire bottom part until the hard, pineapple-like scaly layer is all gone. (I know, this will make you feel like you’re losing all your artichoke, but you don’t want any tough outer layers). Then, Slice off the top part (about 3-4″ depending on the artichoke). You should now be able to see the purple choke in the middle.
2. Rub the artichokes with a lemon wedge. Put all the artichokes (and their stems) in a medium pot with enough water so that they’re completely immersed. Bring to a light boil, then lower heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes with the lid off. (Keeping the lid on can turn the artichoke gray).
3. When they’re done, drain the artichokes and rinse them in cold water. Use your fingers and a spoon to carefully pull off the spiky choke part from the middle. Now you have the heart.
4. Put the artichoke hearts into a blender or food processor, along with the rest of the ingredients. Process until thoroughly blended and creamy. Transfer to another container and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Enjoy with crackers, crostini, sandwiches, etc!
Also see: Celery Banana Smoothie
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling