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14 March 2010

The Artichoke Theory- Whole Globe Artichokes in a Lemon & Garlic Vinaigrette

Artichoke

I’ve not posted in a while! I’m sorry! Some of you have been in contact asking me if everything is o.k? Thank you for your genuine concern and kind words. I really appreciate it!

I’ve been really busy mainly with FBC 2010, entertaining my sisters who made an awfully quick pit stop on their way back from Lebanon to Hawaii, helping my cousin move in to her new place and well if I’m to be frank: my spirit is in fact hanging low at the moment!

I’m not normally comfortable divulging feelings like these especially on here. I’m reserved when it comes to matters of the heart and mostly I don’t want to bore you or pass on any negative energy. I want this space to be a happy space filled with good food and dear friends.

Artichoke

With all that said I assure you It’s nothing serious at all. Deep down I’m just a sensitive soul. It’s not the first time I’ve been here and it definitely will not be the last time. What I really need to do is remember to surround myself with genuine and positive people, keep the faith, allow myself to take time off guilt-free, learn to appreciate the simpler things in life more and practice patience since the journey is in fact just as important as the final destination.

Take this artichoke appetizer as an example; It only requires very simple ingredients yet it’s a treasure to eat. Literally. The more you nibble away at the petals, the shorter the journey and the closer you get to the hidden treasure; the artichoke heart. With every bite you get a teaser, a teensy taste of the final reward. You could rip away all the petals and go straight for the heart but you’d loose out on all the little pleasures and experiences that are just as much a part of the artichoke heart too. They also add to the fun and meaning of it all. Just like in life.

So I will savor every little bite whether sweet or sour and appreciate every experience whether big or small, good or bad.

Globe artichoke season has arrived. It peeks from early March to end of May but artichokes are still widely available year around. It’s best to choose a globe artichoke that has tight, deep green leaves and that it feel relatively heavy for it’s size. Avoid any globes that have any cracked leaves. The following recipe is based on the globe artichoke appetizer served around Lebanon as part of the mezza. Some people like to trim the petals as they think it to be more aesthetically pleasing. It is not for the purpose of getting rid of the tiny thorns as they loose their spikiness once cooked

Artichoke

For those of you that have not yet heard, FBC 2010 registration is now open. I’m beyond excited about Food Blogger Connect in June. The conference is set in beautiful Kensington in fresh and fun venues like the Roof Gardens and the sleek Hempel Hotel. We have an outstanding list of topics and a brilliant line up of award-winning speakers including Bea of  La Tartine Gourmande, Jeanne Horak from Cook Sister! and Mowie of Mowielicious.com. I’m really looking forward to the talks especially as this year we have gone for workshops and roundtables. You’ll be most thrilled to know that for example in the photography sessions you will get to see your favorite food photographers show you “live” how they go about taking a photo, their thought process, there food styling tips and tricks and much more! We have an awesome wine tasting set up for Friday night that’s going to be filled with surprises with a fabulous goodie bag to boot and whatever you do, you don’t want to miss out on the awards and prizes that will be announced on Sunday! For more information visit the FBC website. Please note that space is limited and we only have 70 seats left thus far.

Artichoke

The Artichoke Theory- Whole Globe Artichokes in a Lemon & Garlic Vinaigrette
 
Author:
Serves: Serves 2

Ingredients
  • 1 globe artichokes
  • 45ml or about ¼cup juice of lemon (more or less to taste)
  • 30ml or 2 tablespoons of olive oil (more or less to taste)
  • 1 small garlic clove- minced
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions
  1. Turn the globe upside down and tap it so that you can release any insects, worms and other dirt. rinse in and out under cold water.
  2. Prep the globe according to likes: You could leave the petals untouched or trim off the thorny bit with a scissor. It’s also good to remove the really small “loose” looking leaves around the bottom. Regarding the stem, some people like to trim most of it off while others keep it. I like to cut most of it off (with only about 1 inch of it left- if that). This also helps the artichoke stand up tall when plated.
  3. Fill a large pot almost halfway with water and add the bay leaf
  4. Add the steaming basket with the artichoke, cover and bring all to a boil
  5. Once boiled reduce and let it simmer for about 20-45 minutes depending on the size of the artichoke. You will know when your artichoke is ready by checking the outer petals. They will be tender and will come off easily. You can also test the tips by biting on to check for tenderness
  6. While the artichoke is cooking prep the dressing by mixing the lemon juice, olive oil and finely minced garlic. You may also want to add some finely chopped coriander, parsley, basil or any other herb you fancy. Set aside
  7. Once your artichokes are ready, serve them warm, centered in a plate and drizzled with the dressing.
  8. Pull a petal off the artichoke and bite onto the fleshy bit at the thicker end of the petal, in a dragging motion so you get all the flesh. Discard the petal. Always best to place a separate bowl to discard the petals in.
  9. Keep doing this till you get to the artichoke heart or when there are no petals anymore. You will see an inedible fuzzy bit, using a spoon remove it and discard it. You’re left with the prize. Cut it into pieces dip into the dressing and enjoy!

 

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32 thoughts on “The Artichoke Theory- Whole Globe Artichokes in a Lemon & Garlic Vinaigrette

  1. First of, a bug hug to you.. Whatever it is, it shall pass too..Keep the spirits up.. XX

    And, FBC sounds like it’s going be fantastic and sooo much fun.. Sighhhh.. I really wish I could attend …. perhaps a virtual link?

  2. I don’t think there exists a better way to enjoy an artichoke. Sometimes I even use a combination of butter and olive oil and that’s really good, too. I hope you feel better Beth!
    And I also wish I could make it to London for the FBC. I checked out the site–it looks like an awesome event!

  3. I love the new season banner! And as usual your recipe is always impressive. I’m thinking of becoming a blogger now so i can attend your FBC’s they just seem to be getting better and better !

  4. I’m glad you’re back, but sorry to hear you’re in low spirits. I hope you find the strength and determination to pull out of it. Sounds like you’re on the right track.
    I’ve never had a whole artichoke before – they are prohibitively expensive here, if even available at all. I’ve been dying to try, though.

  5. Oh hon, big big hugs to cheer you up! You should shout and celebrate what a wonderful job you did putting together such an amazing conference! It’s an admirable achievement. You are a star! Can’t wait for FBC10! YAY! 🙂
    And your artichokes looks yummy. I’ve only tried to make it once and wasn’t very pleased with a result.

  6. I’m SO glad you’re back! Big hug to you and much hope for strength as you soldier on, peace as you rest, and joy in the people who truly love you just for you. These Artichokes are beeyootiful! 🙂 I hope your FBC is absolutely wonderful for you and all those who attend. 🙂

  7. I loved your analogy, and I completely agree. I admire your optimism in a world which is speedily losing hope.

    I also love your photos. You make artichokes very photogenic 🙂

  8. Hang in there! I hope that whatever is keeping you down is resolved very soon! Take as much time as you need to spend with your sisters and your work with the FBC 2010! We’ll still be around! In the meantime – thanks for leaving us with such lovely pictures and a great recipe!

  9. I guess if there were not ups and downs in life it would not be real life – while the happy experiences in life are great and keep you laughing it’s the hardships that make us stronger and wiser. So hang in there Beth – in the meantime you know you have friends you can lean on. Some of us are tweet/email away).

    Hugs!

    The artichoke looks sensational. Can’t wait to get my hands on some when they come into season!

  10. Sabiha I sense that Maltese-Lebanese connection thing again, because I LOVE qaqo??!

    What do you call artichokes in Lebanese?

    I tend to like them stuffed, but yours look so appealing in their simplicity!

    Chin up girl – there’s always light at the end of the tunnel xx

    1. Thanks everyone for your lovely comments hugs xx
      Nanette 🙂 xx It’s called Ardi Chowki! Love em stuffed but this is also perfectly easy as you said!

  11. Snap, I just posted an artichoke recipe too, on my Posterous. Like you I like to wait before getting to the heart!

    In Italy, the saying is that a fresh has artichoke has to ” sing” – when you wigglew the outer leaves you hear squeaky noises!

    Wish you well and sending smiles!

  12. I love you. Thanks for the wonderful stay in Brighton. I loved hanging out with you. I wish I stayed there one more day to eat this, but the best thing is that you have this wonderful website and I can follow you and make it on my own 🙂 xoxo

  13. Big hugs! I need to bring Ted to visit so he can give you a teddy hug too. Fabulous that 30 FBC tickets already gone in a few days.

    I love artichokes although I must confess I am very lazy and don’t prepare them myself. I like the ones in jars of olive oil or served on pizzas!!

  14. It was always a special night at our house when my mother made ardi chowke. I loved the taste but even as a kid, I think I loved the leisurely evening spent with the whole family around the table sucking on these little delicacies. Thanks for bringing back those happy memories Beth 🙂 I hope you’re doing ok. Can’t wait to meet you at FBC 2010!!

  15. Sarah- I couldn’t think of anything better than a TED HUG!!! xxxx

    Mayssam- Mee tooooo! And Nanette as well! I just can’t wait to meet you guys! xx

  16. Love the new banner. Can you believe I’ve never cooked artichokes????? I hope you’re OK. I ‘feel’ you 100%, having gone through some similar blog feelings in the very recent past. It is well. So so so looking forward to FBC. Already have accommodation booked, with a friend in Brighton! Stay blessed dear and lots of love to Mr B too

  17. I have to say if I were feeling down, I certainly wouldn’t eat artichokes to make me feel better! I tried it once and soon decided I wasn’t a fan, but if it works for you! Stay smiling! 🙂

  18. Beth

    That photo is fabulous! c’est de l’art! pure and simple! I could have it enlarged and framed and put it on my kitchen wall!
    Great great great photo!!!!!!!!
    Love the artichoke too, of course.

  19. You have been busy…
    I know what you mean about feeling down and not necessarily wanting to share in this space…

    My thoughts are with you and it is always a pleasure to stop by. The photographs are inspiring.

    Sending tight hugs.

  20. Mmmm now I too am in the mood for artichokes. I love them. Usually make a parmesan mayonnaise for dipping, but I think the way you serve them – so simple – is heaven! Cheer up, sister, FBC is right around the corner!

  21. Hang in there with FBC10 – not long to go now! Artichokes are indeed the perect simple starter. My husband LOVES them (although his method of cooking them, or rather for keeping them underwater while they boil) defies description!!

  22. I first meet your blog tonight. I wake-up wondering for something is here. And now is going to became my preferred Lebanese blog, that means my preferred blog.
    Thank you, for beautiful pictures and videos.

  23. Bethany,
    I always find the perfect recipes on your blog! thank you, I will be making these this afternoon for a bit of enjoyment sitting out in the back garden relaxing.
    xx
    callie

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