Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Artichoke

I love to grow artichokes, not because I want to eat them (which I admit I would) but because I just love the way they look in my herb garden. They look especially beautiful when they flower, a big purple flower. They are in the thistle family.

My mother would occasionally buy a bunch of these and after steaming them we would dip the leaves in melted butter and scrape the tender flesh off with our teeth.  

I love this dip but have not made it in years.

¼ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Combine all ingredients; mix well. Makes ¾ cup.


4 Large Artichokes

Wash artichokes under cold running water. Cut off stems at base and remove small bottom leaves. Stand artichokes upright in deep saucepan large enough to hold snugly. Add 1 teaspoon salt and two to three inches boiling water. (Lemon juice, herbs, garlic powder or onion powder may be added, if desired.) Cover and boil gently 35 to 45 minutes or until base can be pierced easily with fork. (Add a little more boiling water, if needed.) Turn artichokes upside down to drain. Cool completely; cover and refrigerate to chill. Makes 4 artichokes.


Em said...

I've got 4 artichoke plants in my garden this year, (I wish I had planted more!)and so far they're growing nicely, but haven't sent up any spikes yet. Do you know when they are usually ready to harvest? This is my first year growing them, and I am sure to put one of your recipes to use once they're ready!

Egghead said...

The only experience I have had is that the first year I plant they grow but don't produce the is always the second year. I don't know if that is what they are supposed to do but that is what happens here. I wish I knew more because I love the looks of them.

Mental P Mama said...

They are perennials???? Who knew. I may have to get some. Love artichokes.

noble pig said...

Oh how wonderful this sounds...I want pictures!

Tipper said...

I've never cooked artichokes-but you make it sound easy and delicious!

Em said...

Wow, I guess I should have done my research before planting these in the veggie garden! Here's what I found out: They are perennials, and will produce in the second year and therafter, and they are normally harvested in the spring. When allowed to bloom, the flowers are a beautuful purple allium-type flower! So cool! I may have to move these to my perennial bed, and I will be getting more for sure!

Jill said...

Nummy! First time I ever had artichoke was at Aunt Krissie's that one summer I stayed with her and Uncle Pat...I think the dip sounds incredible! I'm hungry.