Of artichokes with a savory sauce or, how to start a summer dinner

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

In our garden, there are two artichoke plants. They were rescue plants, on the clearance table at the local drug store on a late summer day. They were cheap, withered and without identification tags.

However, I knew they were artichokes and also knew I would like to have some in the yard, so into the cart they went. I did not know at the time that they were of different types. One of the plants is a globe variety and the other is what I shall refer to as regular.......

Artichokes from our garden.
 The globe variety is compact, while the regular kind has a much longer leaf.

As a kid, my mom would cook up a pan of regular artichokes and serve them hot with a side of mayonnaise to dip the leaf tips in. As a kid, I loved "artichokes" because, in reality, I loved mayonnaise! Creamy, lemony and rich tasting. 

But it was fun to pull off a leaf, scrape it across the mound of mayonnaise on the edge of my plate and then carefully pull the tip, soft side down, across the top edge of my bottom teeth. You also had to gently close your top teeth so there was a bit of pressure upon the leaf to scrape clean, leaving precious little behind!

That little (the tip is but a tease until you reach the heart, but the tease does go on row after row of leaves...) bite is fresh and wonderful and speaking for myself, will keep me working that artichoke until I reach the heart. 

As an adult, I do not dip each leaf tip in sauce, because I end up eating my share of the sauce before I reach the heart. So I simply savor the tiny tastes along the way, in the natural state of pure artichoke bliss.

Terry placed the artichokes in the electric pressure cooker, it was a tight fit, but there were no complaints. Added 1 cup of water and cooked for 10 minutes once full pressure was reached. They were left to rest until the cooker had cooled. 

Lemon and Chive Dipping Sauce, for Artichokes
Lemon and Chive Dipping Sauce, for Artichokes
by the seat of my pants
makes a generous 1/2 cup

1/2 c mayonnaise
2 t mustard - I used some homemade mustard lurking in the fridge, even ballpark style will be delicious
1 T lemon juice
1 1/2 t sugar
1 scant T finely snipped chives

Homemade mustard is always an adventure, in the fridge, to enjoy.

Combine until smooth, pour into a shallow dish, decorate with knotted chives, enjoy with artichokes! (and the leftover sauce will make a great sandwich spread)

Pull off a leaf,

dip into the sauce,

Place soft side down, and tug gently to get that little bit of the artichoke!

Repeat leaf by leaf until you reach the center also known as the "choke". I can only think that the center of the artichoke is called the "choke" because these hairy pieces, could never be swallowed! Never. Ever.

This is where determination is boss, gently pull little fingers-full of the choke (taking great care to have the choke separate itself right at the base, you don't want to lose the heart to the garbage bowl), leaving behind the crown.....

Yes, this is not a pretty vegetable at this point, but believe me, this is the tastiest part! 

For the finale, top with a spoon of sauce and cut into small (so you can savor the flavor for a long time!) pieces and enjoy each one thoroughly. 

I have thought from time to time thought that the artichoke is really a tedious feast.....but one I gladly partake.

How do you enjoy an artichoke?


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  1. Good post, Melynda. Yes, artichokes are rather tedious but so much fun! I think you probably know I am not a fan of mayo and therefore I usually make a hollandaise sauce for artichokes. --Rocquie

  2. I love artichokes. My mom always served them with melted garlic butter. Oh my -- sooo good.

  3. I adore artichokes, but they are not that easy to come by here. They are extraordinarily expensive when in season, so mostly I just use bottled ones. I should really have a go at growing some.

  4. I love that you grow your own artichokes!

    Growing up, I always enjoyed stuffed artichokes, filled with garlicky bread crumbs. Sometimes the things that take a lot of work are the best!

    Your lemon chive dipping sauce sounds really good...and good for many things!


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