Have you ever had a black radish? Prior to this past weekend, I had not, but I ran across them at an organic farm stand at my local farmers market. They were marked down from $2.00 each (they were quite large) to just $0.50 each, so I grabbed one and figured I’d give it a shot. I’m glad I did! Not only is this radish spicy and fresh, it is beautiful, and I’m assuming it’s pretty healthy because it’s mostly water…right? Who knows, I made that up. Continue reading
Sitting around the kitchen table with my family eating steamed artichokes is absolutely one of my favorite childhood memories. From what I can tell and have heard, this is very much a “California thing” and since that is where I was born, I guess it makes sense! These are such a fun, sociable treat for a dinner with friends and I highly encourage you to learn how to steam artichokes if you don’t already know how. Most people are familiar with the canned or bottled artichoke hearts you might find on the Jason’s Deli salad bar, but that’s nothing compared with a steamed artichoke.
Artichokes are very healthy and they contain cynarin, which supposedly lowers cholesterol and is good for the liver and gallbladder. Steaming, rather than boiling, uses little water so the artichoke retains more of its nutrients.
Here’s how it’s done…
Start with a beautiful (preferably organic) green artichoke. Cut off the top inch, cut the excess stem, and then proceed to trim the tough tips off of all the leaves, pulling off smaller outer leaves at the bottom. Rinse and clean the artichoke under cold water. Place, tips up, in salted water (add a lemon wedge if desired to help keep the green color) for steaming and let steam for 30-40 minutes or so. Let strain upside down.
You will know your artichoke is ready when the base is tender and the leaves pull off easily. You will be scraping the petals on your teeth so if it scrapes easily, you are ready. To eat, pull off a petal, dip in aioli and scrape soft side down along teeth. Discard leftover petal.