It took us three attempts to get globe artichokes into our garden. The first time artichoke plant shopping we came home with Jerusalem artichokes, also called sunchokes -which are actually in the sunflower family. The second try we came home with Cardoons -which are at least in the artichoke family. And finally on the third try we found what we were looking for all along, globe artichokes.
As artichoke season is fast approaching and our lone thistly delight is almost ripe (only one survived the winter) I want to share my favorite way that Markus prepares them. It can take a bit of time to eat the artichoke as you peel off each leaf and with it you scoop up a bit of the egg vinaigrette Then put the bottom half of the leaf in your mouth, bite the leaf and scrape off the tender pieces of the leaf and the egg vinaigrette with your teeth as you pull the leaf out of your mouth. Sounds complicated but you will get the hang of it!
Follow these steps for each leaf and then when you get to the heart of the artichoke you have to take a spoon and scoop our the spines covering the heart, then eat the heart out!! MMMMMmmm, I love it! As well the egg vinaigrette is amazing drizzled on a fresh head of butter lettuce… my mouth is watering evern thinking about it!
This recipe is for 4 artichokes, one for each guest. The recipe can be doubled to accommodate more diners.
4 Large, fresh organic artichokes- if they are the pointy variety, cut the
thorny tips before cooking
6 Large, free range/organic eggs
2 Tablespoons finely cut Italian flat leaf parsley
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1 Small yellow onion, diced
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons good quality red wine vinegar
1 Teaspoon fine sea salt
Coarse sea salt
Cook eggs: prick a small hole in the bottom of the egg with a pin or use an egg pricker, this will make it easier to peel the egg after it is cooked. Place eggs in a pot and cover them with cold water, on medium heat boil the eggs. Cook 9 minutes, start timing after the water has started to boil. When the 9 minutes are up, take off heat and run cold water over the eggs until they have cooled down. When cool, peel the eggs and cut into small pieces.
In a bowl, combine parsley, onion, olive oil, dijon,salt and vinegar. Whisk together. Carefully fold eggs into the vinaigrette. Add salt to taste. Let stand for 1/2 hour in the fridge.
Artichokes: Place artichokes in a large pot and fill with cold water so that they are well covered. Add a generous amount of coarse sea salt (approx. 2 handfuls). When the water boils, test it for saltiness. The water should taste as though it were sea water. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the outer, bottom leaves start to fall off the artichoke. When the meaty part of the artichoke is soft and tender, remove the artichokes from the water and set them in a strainer, upside down, to drain.
Serve each guest one artichoke with a generous amount of the egg vinaigrette on the side, then start peeling and scooping.
Pairing wine with artichokes can be tricky as the artichokes can make a wine taste bitter/metallic or overly sweet. The safest pairing would be a crisp, dry new world, sauvignon blanc; like a New Zealand sauvignon blanc for example. Or if you don’t want to risk a bad wine pairing then opt for a light crisp beer.