You can tell spring has truly sprung from the vegetables that have been finding their way to my plate this week. First, asparagus, both shaved in spaghetti and as a co-star in chicken salad and then, (oh happy day!), there was a BOGO deal (buy one get one free), on artichokes at Safeway, so I grabbed a couple of those too. I normally just throw artichokes in a pot to steam with some lemon, salt and pepper but I figured Tyler must have a better way to cook them. I found an easy recipe at Food Network for Steamed Whole Artichokes from his Food 911 show, (recipe here), for my Tyler Florence Fridays pick this week. Tyler steams his artichokes with chicken stock, white wine, lemon and herbs. To dip the leaves in I found this recipe for Remoulade, (France's version of tarter sauce), from another Food 911 episode and lightened it up a bit.
Steamed Whole Artichokes
4 sprigs parsley
4 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
2 lemons, cut in half
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 quart chicken broth or water
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 whole artichokes
Put the parsley, garlic, bay leaves, lemons, wine, oil and broth in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Season the liquid with salt and pepper. In the meantime prepare the artichokes.
Wash artichokes under cold water. Using a heavy stainless steel knife, cut off the stems close to the base. Pull off the lower petals that are small and tough. Cut off the top inch of the artichoke and rub with half a lemon to preserve the green color. Alternatively, you may put the artichokes in acidulated water. If you wish, trim the thorny tips of the petals with kitchen shears.
Place the artichokes in the steaming liquid, bottom up. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. The artichokes are done when a knife is inserted into the base and there is no resistance.
To eat, pull off a leaf and scrape the meat off the tender end with your front teeth. Dip the ends of the leaves in lemon juice and melted butter if desired. When you reach the center cone of purple prickly leaves, remove it. This is the choke that protects the heart. Now, scrape away the thistle fuzz covering the artichoke heart. The heart is the meatiest part of the artichoke. Steamed artichokes may be served hot or cold.
(Makes 1 cup)
2 cups mayonnaise (I used an equal amount of non-fat Greek yogurt)
2 tablespoons cornichons or sour gherkins, minced
2 tablespoons capers, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 anchovy, minced
Dash red pepper sauce
Mix together all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate before serving. Serve with cold seafood and vegetables.
Notes/Results: Excellent! I was surprised at how much flavor the chicken stock, spices and wine added to the artichokes. They almost didn't need anything extra to dip them in, but dipping is half the fun of eating artichokes, so you gotta do it. For the remoulade, I replaced the mayonnaise with some non-fat yogurt, (yes it is not quite as creamy, but it is much better for me). I liked the little hit of tarragon in the remoulade sauce and it nicely complimented the artichokes. I also melted 1/2 tablespoon of butter with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper for an alternative sauce. (That way I could dip the leaves in a little butter without all the fat and calories). A great spring dish and how I will be steaming my artichokes in the future.
You can see what the other TFF participants chose for their weekly Tyler recipe fix and what they thought about them at the round-up on the TFF site, (here).