This dinner is admittedly for a very light summer dinner. If you need a little more heft, I'd recommend to serve it alongside a caprese salad perhaps.
This dish reminds me of spending time with my mother during the summer months. I remember the house smelling like artichoke water as we waited for what felt like an eternity for them to be ready. My mom, someone who is mindful of nutrition, would serve it much more lightly than this dinner, but I figure if I'm only going to eat fresh artichokes so infrequently, I might as well indulge a little.
This summer is a bit different than most in that there are no beach getaways. But if you're able to find a spot with some fresh air and a thick breeze, these somehow taste even better with the wind on your face.
The butter mixture really makes this dish shine. I use a cultured Irish-style salted butter which adds a really nice complexity of flavor to the dish. I also love to make this when we have those enormous fresh garlic bulbs in the middle of summer. If you don't have fresh garlic, by all means use normal dried garlic. But if you have garlic scapes, this is a wonderful application for them too.
I love saving the heart for last and simply using a spoon to gently pry the choke from it. It's designed to save the best bite for last!
2 large artichokes
4 tbsp cultured, salted butter
3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced
Grab a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. Salt the pot of water with a tablespoon or two of salt.
Trim the artichokes so the bottom stem is clean. Then with scissors, cut off the spikes on the outer leaves. Place the artichokes into the pot of boiling water and cook for around 40 minutes or until the bottom leaves when pulled on gently, nearly fall off.
In a small pot, heat the butter with the minced garlic on low. The idea here is to meld the flavors, not to develop any color. Cook for 10 minutes or so and then just let it sit together until the artichokes are done.
Before serving, add the lemon juice to the butter mixture and then divide into two small bowls. Season with salt as desired.
Once the artichokes are fully cooked, remove from the pot and plate alongside the garlic butter mixture. Dip each leave into the mixture and scrape the leaf with your teeth to remove the delicious fleshy part of the leaves. Be mindful not to eat the choke.
Every Sunday evening, I send out a newsletter with the following week's dinner menu, and the seasonal produce featured. The newsletter is free, and I won't share or sell your email address.
If it turns out it's not the content you're looking for, you can easily unsubscribe with a link at the bottom of the email. This project was originally a way to wrap my head around the evolving seasonal produce in the supermarkets.
I'm so excited to share the journey and learn from you as I go along!
- Julia Feld