Friday, June 25, 2010

Butter-steamed Artichoke Hearts

I'm not sure how many cooks in blogland would be interested in making this dish. It's one I make two or three times a year at the end of artichoke season, which lasts about a month -- May/June, where we are. It's the perfect buttery way to use those

eeny little artichokes that signal the end of the harvest --

the ones that are too small to steam and eat with mayonnaise.
The prep takes about 45 minutes. But if you have the time -- and the eeny little artichokes -- it is a dish that, in its simplicity, is absolute perfection.

Set aside any larger artichokes you're planning to eat in the traditional manner.

Next, pull off tough outer leaves of small artichokes. Keep going until you've reached the center, where the leaves are soft and pliable.

With sharp knife, cut off top half of artichoke and discard. Trim off stems, and cut each artichoke into quarters, lengthwise.

At this point, pull out your glasses as you will need them to see the eeny little chokes in the eeny little vegetables.
Use your eeny little paring knife to pare out the fuzzy little center choke part.

Repeat for 45 minutes, at which time you should have a small bowl of hearts and a large sinkful of refuse.

This concludes the time-consuming portion of our program; the rest is a matter of melting 2 T. butter over medium-high heat in a 10-inch skillet that has a lid. As butter is just starting to brown,

add the hearts,

pour in 1/2 c. water, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If water evaporates before the time is up, add a bit more so you don't fry the bottom of your pan. When done, the base of the hearts should be tender when poked with a fork. Season with sea salt and pop into your mouth. Mmmm mmmm good.

The recipe is from this book, by the way, which instructs that you can use frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, if you don't have fresh. I have never tried that, though.
Any other artichoke heart fans out there? Do you have a favorite way of serving them?



Blogger Farm Girl said...

I have always wondered what to do with the tiny ones and I have just let them bloom/thistle? I love the electric purple and the bumblebees that visit. You do have a lot of interesting cookbooks.
Have you read any good books lately?
I was just wondering if anything of interest has crossed your path.

June 25, 2010 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

I have heard such good things about the butter and artichoke combination. Those baby chokes sound adorable!

June 25, 2010 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

I have read lots of books lately, Farm Girl, but many of them have just been so-so. A couple that I give *stars* to: If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg; One Thing at a Time: 100 Simple Ways to Live Clutter-Free Every Day by Cindy Glovinsky; Two From Galilee: A Love Story of Mary and Joseph by Marjorie Holmes; and Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Have you read any good ones to recommend?

June 25, 2010 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger Farm Girl said...

Sadly no, I did get Stormie's book and I would give it maybe a 3, I think the Introduction is the best thing in the book. :) I have the shortest attention span in the world right now. Working in the garden and all of that stuff just seems easier. I
like all of the books you have read though. I hate to admit this I even dug out all of my Grace Livingston Hill. I haven't read them just got them out of my doom closet. (boxes and boxes of books)
I might try to read some Charles Stanley, I think though, The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit is about it. If I come across something of note, I will let you know. You too. Let me know if you find something really great.
Is your wedding over?

June 25, 2010 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Farm Girl, our wedding took place a few weeks ago and it was the most awesome day. I think next to the days I gave birth, it was my very most special mom moment ever. There's just something so profound about watching two young people (one of whom is yours :)) make a new family of their own. Words can't even describe.

June 25, 2010 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger Moore Minutes said...

Oh this sounds heavenly! Artichokes are a true favorite of mine. Loved the photos in this post.

June 25, 2010 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Tales From My Empty Nest said...

Thanks for visiting. Your recipes look so good. I have never seen artichokes growing, so that was interesting to me. Love & blessings from NC!

June 25, 2010 at 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Faith said...

If I could get my hands on some of those tiny chokes I would love to make this! It sounds divine!

June 26, 2010 at 1:17 PM  
Blogger Barb said...

Hi Lynn!

Thanks for stopping by to say hello and leave a comment - I always love to see new faces!

I love your blog - what an amazing cook you are! I can't wait to try . . . most . . . of them! I have a few bookmarked for future deliciousness!

I painted the bench today, and it is the exact color my grandmother painted it 30+ years ago - I will post pictures.

Thanks again for stopping - can't wait to see more of your blog!


June 26, 2010 at 6:22 PM  
Blogger Barb said...

Just me again - after reading my comment, it sounded like there were some recipes I did not like. You know how sometimes words, especially when writing come out wrong - well, the word "most" came out wrong - I would love to try all of the recipes - they all looked fantastic!

Hugs, again . . .

June 26, 2010 at 6:26 PM  
Anonymous Juliana said...

Oh! They are so cute ;-) Love the idea of butter on the small artichokes.

June 28, 2010 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

I love the refuse pile and I love artichokes. We were just wondering what to do with those end of the season baby chokes. Problem solved.

June 28, 2010 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Everything looks so delicious! You have such a wonderful blog! I am now following you!

July 9, 2010 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Frenchieliza, you have a wonderful blog, too! I love your emphasis on healthy cooking for the family. Something we all can benefit from . . .

July 9, 2010 at 12:08 PM  

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