A couple weekends ago on a trip to the mercato (farmer’s market), I ran into a Sardinian guy selling artichokes at the can’t-be-beat price of €7,00 for 20 artichokes (that’s about .46 american cents each). The only stipulation was that you had to buy twenty – or ten for €5,00, but why get 10 when you can get 20 for €2,00 more?!? Needless to say, we were eating artichokes all week – and loving every minute of it. Here’s what we made:
Pasta with artichokes
Orecchiette with sundried tomates, toasted pinenuts, basil, capers, olives, mozzarella
Directions: toast pinenuts in a dry frying pan, swirling frequently. Add a little oil, garlic, onion and sweat till transparent. Add finely sliced artichokes, chopped sundried tomatoes, olives, capers and a couple ladles of pasta water. Cook on low till desired consistency and artichokes have cooked through. Add more olive oil if sauce seems dry. Stir sauce into cooked, drained pasta and add diced mozzarella.
Slice artichokes finely and cook in a pan with garlic, onion, and olive oil, adding a cup or two of stock or water as onion starts to brown. You can use whatever kind of rice you prefer and either prepare it separately, or add it to the artichokes and cover with stock or water until rice is cooked. Serve with plenty of grated cheese.
Pan Roasted Artichokes
Prepare as above, adding pinenuts and olives if desired and serve as a vegetable side dish.
Steamed Artichokes with Hollandaise Sauce
Steam whole artichokes, almost covered with salted water in a large pot for 30-40 minutes or until soft. Meanwhile, prepare hollandaise sauce. I know that seems like a lot of butter, but trust me, it’s worth it! I like my hollandaise extra lemony. The real fun of this dish is in how it’s eaten: Dip artichokes leaves in sauce and scrape the meat off each leaf with your teeth. To die for!!
Cold Artichoke Salad
Hard boil eggs and separate the yolks. Slice raw artichokes on a mandolin, add crumbled egg yolks, flakes of parmigiano (parmesan cheese), dress with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.