Tuesday, October 21, 2008

i croak, you croak, we all croak for artichokes!

i've had the marinated artichoke hearts you get at the store a few times in my life time, but i had never tried to eat an actual artichoke until 7 or 8 months ago. we were at my friend vicki's and she had made some for us to eat. i was thinking it must taste like the tops of asparagus because that's what they kind of look like--abnormally large tops of asparagus. i tried to eat it, but i couldn't do it. i'm sure she sighed as i painfully tried to eat a few leaves, gave up, and left the beautiful veggie sitting on the plate. i couldn't understand why she kept sucking on her leaves and throwing them in a bowl. i was too embarrassed to ask.

then a week later i saw more artichokes at the food bank. i picked them up and looked up an article on how to properly cook and eat an artichoke. i felt my face turn red hot as i realized i wasn't eating them right and that i had wasted such a beautiful, tasty, and expensive treat. my friends mari and tony came over that night to eat with us and mari showed me how to nom an artichoke. i learned that the artichoke isn't a vegetable per se, but it is a giant thistle! since then i've become a born-again okey dokey artichokey head. my favorite dipping sauce is some veganaise mixed with balsamic vinegar and ms. dash. pictured above i used the tahini dressing from VWAV and it was also supremely righteous. you can also trim and eat the stems.

my favorite part is getting to the choke. it looks so obscene! i like scooping the chokey part out and noshing the bottom-(gosh, that sounds so dirty as i type this!). the bottom is completely different from the flesh on the leaves. it melts in your mouth!

MOFO question: what food item have you tried that you didn't really know how to prepare or eat? what did you do? do you like it now?


Nicole said...

Wow, I've never tried to do anything with an artichoke. I am intimidated by them! But you're giving me ideas... Hmmm, I'm thinking about your question. I guess the yucca root. It looks like a sweet potato but longer and with a brown, tougher skin. It was in some recipe of something, I can't remember what, ages ago, and I love it now. I treated it like a sweet potato (peeled and sliced it) and it turned out yummy! It was a little bit nutty, and sort of a yellow color on the inside. But very potato-y. They sell them at Kroger regularly, and I think they're from the Carribbean.

Anonymous said...

I have only ever eaten artichoke hearts, but never a complete artichoke.

The food item I waited a long time to try is kale. It's big dinosaur-ish leaves scared me. Like most vegans, though, it turned out that I like it a lot.

Mari said...

I *heart* artichokes. My grandparents make them a lot.

You can watch the entire GoodEats artichoke episode that I told you about online.


Bianca said...

I just tried whole artichoke this year as well. I watched Alton Brown prepare one on the Food Network and knew I needed to give it a try. So good!

I did accidentally try to eat the spiky hairs near the choke...not a good idea...