|Morning: Artichokes at Trader's Jones|
I took the photo above last week at Trader Joe's. I just love going to the grocery store this time of year and seeing a huge pile of fresh artichokes like that. It is such a gorgeous sight.
That day I came home with a couple of them and couldn't wait but cook them that evening for dinner. I usually serve whole artichokes with an olive oil and lemon based vinaigrette, but that day I decided to come up with something a little different.
I had left over mascarpone cheese in the refrigerator and that sparked the idea to make a creamier dipping sauce. I added lemon juice and zest to brighten the sauce and capers for a salty and tangy bite.
Mascarpone-Lemon Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
1/4 cup thick Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped capers, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Use a spoon to combine all the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and serve. You can also keep it in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving it.
Instructions to cook the fresh artichokes:
Click HERE to see my step-by-step interactions on how to prepare whole artichokes.
2 whole artichokes
salt to taste
juice of a lemon
Fill a 5 quart pot 2/3 full with water and bring it to a boil.
Use a knife to trim the thick steams at the bottom of the artichokes. Using scissors, snip off the tips of all the leaves. Cut and discard the top 1 1/2 inches of the artichokes. Rinse artichokes thoroughly with running cold water and transfer them to the pot of boiling water. Add the juice of one lemon and salt to taste. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for approximately 45 minutes or until the bottom of the artichokes are tender.
Once artichokes are cooked, gently remove them from hot water and place them turned upside down on a cooling rack to drain for 5 minutes. Turn them back up and gently pull open the top of the artichokes until you see pale yellow leaves and pull those out to reveal the hairy choke. Use a spoon to scoop out the choke. Use your hands to gently close up the artichokes.
To eat, pull off leaves starting at the base, dip them in the sauce and bite off the soft part found at the base of each leaf. Discard remaining leaf.
Once all leaves are gone, you will find the artichoke heart. Eat that part with the help of a fork and knife, dipping it in the sauce.
|Evening: I ate my way to the artichoke hear!|