Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Recipe: Baby Artichoke 3 Way

These sumptious little morsels called out to me from Sunshine Market on Commercial. $5.99 for 2 pounds? That is like finding an edible pot of gold! We headed back to Maria's pad and bbq'd and steamed them up. I did the full artichokes back in the day but now babies are the only way I roll. The grown ups just don't compare once you've gone young. Less green toughness, more delicous sunshine centre. We devoured these in a baby artichoke orgy of 3 different sauces. I asked Maria to pick her fave but she said they all were good in their own way.
Rinse artichokes well in a large pot of water. Snap off the lower petals until you reach the yellow-green core. Use a knife and cut off the top half inch of the Baby Artichoke, or just below the green tips of the petals. Trim the stems and all remaining dark-green areas from the base. Immediately soak the prepared Baby Artichokes in water with either two tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice ,until you are ready to cook with them as this prevents them from going brown.
You can cook these up 3 ways too.
Steaming: Arrange Baby Artichokes in a steamer insert or basket in a pot deep enough to keep the Baby Artichokes above water. Cover tightly and steam over rapid boiling water (making sure to maintain the water level), until Baby Artichokes are tender. Depending on size and quantity of Baby Artichokes, steaming time can range from 15 to 20 minutes. Lift out carefully and drain.
Grilling: This adds those a smoky flavor and those lovely charcoaled grill marks. However they still need to be pre-cooked. I boiled mine for approx. 8 minutes. Once boiled cut in half and brush them with olive oil before grilling. Grill for 3-5 minutes.
Boiling: Add to a pot of salted and water. Pot should be full enough so when submersed all artichokes are covered. Boil 8-10 minutes or until you can stick a knife in and artichokes are tender.

Lemon Aioli
2 garlic cloves, minced (I prefer in a food processor)
1 cup mayonaise (light or regular)
1 teaspoon lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste

Yield 1 cup

Combine all of the above in food processor until smooth.
Can be kept in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Pesto Vinaigrette
1 cup fresh basil
2 cups fresh flat leaf parsley
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon white or red wine vingear
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Yield 1 cup

In a food processor pulse garlic until finely minced. Add basil and parsley along with 1/4 cup of oil, vinegar and mustard. Blend. Add more olive oil until you reach desired consistency which should be thicker than a dressing but lighter than a traditional pesto. NOTE: I added feta, caper berries and olives to take it up a notch but just with the pesto was more than enough.
Can be kept in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
2 to 3 medium red peppers
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Yield 1 cup

Place peppers under an oven broiler. Once the skin has blackened rotate to other side of the peppers and continue until the entire pepper is charred. Remove from oven and place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for approx. 20 minutes and once you can touch them remove the charred skin to reveal the soft flesh. Discard seeds and stem. Place in a food processor and puree.
In a small saucepan on medium heat add vegetable oil and fry garlic until soft. Add to red pepper purée. Add remaining olive oil and refrigerate.
Can keep up to 10 days in the fridge.


  1. Still undecided about what my favorite might have to make them all over again so that I can decide properly! Ha.