I love artichokes as you may have read in past posts. I like them raw, shaved thin in salads. I like a single huge one for dinner – sometimes with the leaves dipped in some luscious mix of garlic and mayo or lemon-butter or nothing at all. I can’t wait to dig into the center and discover fuzzy choke and then on to the meaty bottom. But I don’t like the frozen or canned variety nor do I like the perennial cocktail party hot artichoke dip. I only want mine fresh – and nothing is better than traveling down the California coast to artichoke land and picking them up at a farm stand (my mom used to buy them by the bushel for a dollar or two).
I picked up a bunch of baby purple artichokes the other day just to make a kinda salad for my lunch. Steve, of course, had to photograph them in their pristine glory but then took a quick shot of lunch. It was very simple – shaved baby artichokes, toasted pine nuts, some little tiny pickled onions I had stashed in the fridge, and, best of all, some fresh croutons made from left over baguette that I cubed and fried in olive oil. Made a dressing of white balsamic vinegar, a touch of orange juice, and extra virgin olive oil – a perfect lunch!