So it’s been a little while since my last post. Nine days to be exact. This is a direct result of the fact that my brain/body/essence-of-being has been virtually frozen since I left Florida last week. As my body slowly readjusts to the Final-Chill-Smackdown, also known as April in Massachusetts, I’ve been able to emerge from the sleeping-bag-with-sleeves coat I’ve been wearing exclusively since last Wednesday and thaw my brain to the point where it’s capable of stringing a few sentences together.
Artichokes are a lot of fun. They may not be considered a “meal” by our male counterparts, but I’ve always thought that an artichoke makes a perfectly suitable lunch (maybe with some cheese and crusty bread—who am I kidding). Like my tan, they peel away in layers. And eventually, after what seems like hours of tearing off leaves and dunking them in butter, you’ll get to the hairy heart. It’s not really hair (it better not be)—I think they’re seeds or something—and you can just cut around them.
Normally my mom serves these with melted salted butter, which is obviously delicious. But I decided to jazz up my melted butter with shallots, garlic, white wine, lemon juice, and tarragon. It just makes the dunk-a-roo that much more of a treat.
Boil about 2 inches of water in a large pot, add plenty of salt (this should be seawater salty), and toss in your artichokes, stems trimmed. Cover and boil/steam away for about 30 minutes. While the chokes cook, you can make the sauce. Melt the butter in a small, nonstick skillet over a medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic, wait ten seconds, and then add the white wine and lemon juice. Boil that for 2-3 minutes and then remove the sauce from the heat. Add the kosher salt and the pepper. You can let it get to room temperature, or keep it warm… whatever works for you.
When the chokes are cooked (you’ll know when a knife goes easily through the stem, and the leaves tear off very easily), drain them and serve. Give the sauce a final and vigorous stir, adding the tarragon, before spooning it into a serving bowl. Make sure to have an empty bowl on the table so your friends can chuck the leaves into it when they’re done!
- 4 artichokes, with stem trimmed
- ½ stick of salted butter
- ½ cup finely minced shallots (about 2 shallots)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
- ½ cup dry white wine
- The juice of one lemon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped tarragon
Serves 4 people