Browsing through my photos from my brief visit to Venice in April, I saw this one and thought while we may just notice artichokes at local markets, they’ve been in full swing since Spring hit the Mediterranean in March. I had artichokes in everything in Italy and am now whipping them up at a moment’s notice.
Okay, who am I kidding? ‘Whip’ may be the wrong word, because you definitely don’t whip up artichokes. They’re hard and daunting, but I dig them so much that they’ve become worth the work. In Venice, farmers brought their freshly-picked artichokes to the local market and easily cut, cleaned and popped them into acid water to maintain a fresh color. A shopper could buy them the old-fashioned way, or take the easy route and buy them cleaned and ready for a fresh salad, pasta dish or even grilled pizza.
Tonight, I steamed some artichokes in a bath of boiling water, lemon juice, peppercorns and bay. I had “old-fashioned” artichokes and had to cut off the top third, trim the stem as well as trim the tops of the thorned leaves. After 45 minutes, the artichokes were soft and steamy. I let them cool while prepping a little melted butter with some finely chopped herbs. The dish is addictive and you can’t stop at just one artichoke. In fact, it started as an appetizer and, with a salad, quickly became my meal.
Now, mine didn’t look as gorgeous as the hearts floating above. But do this – Dream about the the hearts, sitting in a bath of lemon-scented water, along the curb of the grand canal in Venice, but buy and make the next batch you see at your local farmer’s market or CSA.
Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic Studio. Follow Maggie Battista on Instagram.