Thursday, May 06, 2010
I told Zack I had something cool to try for dinner. He asked, with his nose wrinkled up, "It isn't kale chips, is it?" Ok, I guess I haven't won the child over to kale chips (but I promise, they are delicious). I knew there was a pretty good liklihood that he would be weirded out by the artichoke, too. But, you loose some... and you win some! Zack loved the artichoke!
It could have been the dipping butter that did it (we each had our own little ramekin), but he thought it was great fun. He started with just a leaf but then went for a whole artichoke, exclaiming in surprise, "I looove this food! Can I eat the whole thing?" He even used a table knife to scrape off the choke himself and eat the heart.
They are pretty easy to prepare - you just cut off the stem and the top third, snip any sharp ends of the leaves and steam until the leaves will pull off easily and the flesh is tender. I just steam them in the microwave by standing them in a shallow dish with some water and covering. It takes several minutes of cooking. There is just a bit of edible flesh at the base of each leaf (increasing as you move from the outer leaves inward) so you dip and then scrape it off with your teeth. It sounds like it would scrape against your teeth and set them on edge, but it doesn't (well, we don't think so anyway). When you run out of leaves and just see a thistle-like center, cut off the spiny-looking part and eat the rest. Melted butter with a squeeze of lemon juice makes a tasty dip.
I thought it would be a fun and festive appetizer, but we ate our main mean and then relaxed at the table and visited and ate our artichokes. Even Sammy had a bit and enjoyed it. I have assured Zack that I'll try to have these again before they are out of season.