Hi there. Sorry I haven't posted in a while - life has been busy, and there haven't been many blog-worthy meals at my table lately. But spring is here now, which always gets me energized to be more productive, so I'm going to do my best to post more regularly from now on...
Anyway, on to the artichokes! This was my first experience cooking and eating whole artichokes. In the past, I've only had the hearts, either canned or frozen. But I was in the mood to try something new when I was vegetable shopping this week, so I decided to pick up some whole fresh artichokes. I found some really interesting recipes for stuffed artichokes online, but decided that since it was my first time cooking them, I wanted to keep it more simple. I ended up adapting this recipe, which I found on Epicurious. It was great - the artichokes were really fun to eat, and the dipping sauce was delicious. I think the sauce would work nicely as a dip for many other vegetables as well, or maybe even as a sandwich spread.
Artichokes with sesame dipping sauce
Adapted from this recipe
The original recipes calls for grilling the artichokes after steaming, but we don't have a grill, so I skipped that step. Also, we had a huge amount of dipping sauce left over after making this, so you might want to cut the quantity in half unless you want to use the excess dip for other things.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs Asian sesame oil
1 1/2 tbs honey
3 tbs fresh lemon juice, divided
3/4 tsp kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt)
4 large artichokes
Whisk together mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, sesame oil, honey, salt, and 1 tbs of the lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth and well combined. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Cover and refrigerate until cold.
Fill a large bowl with cold water and add remaining 2 tbs lemon juice. Working 1 artichoke at a time, cut down artichoke stem, leaving about 3/4 inch intact. Cut off top quarter of artichoke. Remove small leaves near the stem. Remove the outer layer of large leaves, bending them back and snapping them off at the stem. Cut artichokes into 4-6 wedges and place wedges in the bowl of lemon water. Repeat with remaining artichokes.
Steam artichokes until tender (this could take 30-60 minutes, depending on the size of the wedges. When they are done, a fork should easily pierce the stem end), then remove from heat. When cool enough to handle, remove the fuzzy choke and any purple-tipped leaves from the center of the wedges (I scraped out the choke and the leaves with a spoon, they came off easily). Transfer wedges to a plate and serve with dipping sauce.