In the spring and fall, when artichokes are at their freshest (and meatiest!), not a week goes by that I don’t make this simple dish – a fantastic way to savor the delicate flesh of artichokes.
Eating the spiky veggie this way is great fun! You peel the leaves one at a time and dip them into the vinaigrette before sucking all the delicious fleshiness out of them. The only trick is removing the choke once you get to the heart – a job that I always have the privilege of doing for everyone at the table.
May you enjoy this recipe as much and as often as we do in this household!
Food & wine pairing: Blanc de Blancs with artichokes
Serving a sparkling wine is always festive. And a sparkler, especially a Blanc de Blancs, goes perfectly with the delicate flesh of the artichokes and the slight acidity of the vinaigrette. If you prefer to serve a still wine, then pour an Arneis from Northern Italy or a Pinot Gris from Alsace.
Artichokes with chive vinaigrette
active time: 20 min
- 4 large artichokes
- 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 large garlic clove – skinned and crushed (use a microplane grater)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives (Italian parsley is a good substitute)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Step 1: Remove the first row of leaves at the base of each artichoke and cut the stems off. Then cut 1/2″ off the top of each leaf with scissors. Next, slice the tip of each artichoke off. Set the artichokes in a large pot, fill the pot with 1″ of spring water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce heat to medium/medium-low, cover the pot and gently simmer the artichokes for about 25 minutes until very tender. (To test for tenderness, pull on one outer leaf. It should come off easily.) Remove the artichokes from the pot and let cool. You can serve them either warm or at room temperature.
- Step 2: While the artichokes are cooking, make the vinaigrette. Place the vinegar, garlic, chives, oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and whisk until well incorporated. Set aside. To serve, place each artichoke on a large plate. Divide the vinaigrette into 4 small bowls and place next to the artichokes. To eat the artichokes, peel the leaves off one at a time and dip in the vinaigrette. Then eat the bottom part. Once you get to the heart, remove the choke with a paring knife. (Watch the video clip for the exact method.) Cut the heart in small pieces and dip in the vinaigrette… Enjoy!