Growing up, M’s mom didn’t have much to work with in terms of feeding M vegetables. He’d pretty much only consume a few. They consisted of lima beans (really?), corn, green beans cooked to death with bacon, and lastly artichokes.
I didn’t grow up eating artichokes, at all, and was very confused when I sat down to one of my first dinners at his mom’s table. She was serving artichokes that evening and at each table setting was a bowl of melted butter. I didn’t put the two together and thought that each of us was getting melted butter for our bread which of course seemed a bit, well, overboard. Once the dipping of the artichoke leaves was explained it all came together.
I was hooked from the first one I had. These oddly shaped prickly things are tasty! They are in season now, which I learned upon a bit of research, so spring is the best time to eat them. Also? They are packed with fiber, potassium, folate, and calcium. One artichoke contains 4.2 grams of protein as well! All for a mere 60 calories. That a lot of punch for such little calories.
These little buggers require a bit of prep but once in the pot they are done as far as a cooking stand point. They show up often on our plates next to some grilled salmon or chicken. An easy spring dinner! We gobble them up.
Recipe from M’s mom
All you’ll need is 1 jumbo artichoke per person, some salted butter, and a few fresh garlic cloves.
To prep the artichokes, snip off the tips of any prickly leaves. Cut the stem on the bottom so that it can stand up (easier to serve this way).
Bring a bit pot of water to a boil. Turn back the heat a bit, drop the artichokes, and let them simmer in the hot water for roughly 40 minutes. Once you see an outer leaf or two falling off in the pot, they are ready.
Melt your butter and mince up your garlic. Sauté the garlic on low in the melted butter for a few minutes.
Serve the artichokes along with individual bowls of the garlic butter for dipping, along with one large bowl to collect the leaves.
Don’t forget the best part, the heart! Once you get to the bottom of your artichoke you’ll find a ‘hairy’ (as M so appetizingly describes) looking thing. Scoop out the upper ‘hairy’ part and you’re left with the bottom of the artichoke, or, the heart. It’s delicious!
M always gives me his ‘heart’ – sweet, huh?