Monday, April 6, 2009

The Splendid Carciofi!

One of my most favorite foods in the world is the carciofi, aka the artichoke! My brother and I were so lucky to have parents that loved food. Not just food, but different food. You can always count on artichokes in the spring, of course they are available year round , but usually at a discounted price in the spring. There are several different ways to cook an artichoke, but by far the best is in a pressure cooker, my parents are so smart! When cooked in a pressure cooker, the time is shaved off considerably and this fabulous thistle is so tender. I myself prefer a melted garlic butter while others like mayonnaise. I am not a big fan of plain mayo, but a garlic aoli, mmm, now that's tasty!

Last year I discovered that baby artichokes are available well into the summer. I like to quarter and steam them and toss into a marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, pepper flakes and some herbs. These little marinated jewels are so versatile! They can be tossed with pasta and Parmesan, thrown into a salad, a pizza topping and of course just simply served as an appetizer before a delicious beef stew on a chilly Spring night ;)

It doesn't matter how adventurous one is in the kitchen, the artichoke is a Spring favorite that should be enjoyed over and over again.

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