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I’ll be honest, the first time I ever tried artichokes was at my (now) husband’s parents home. I was well into my 20s and dating my now husband Bill.  His mom served it as the first course of our weekend meals. The artichoke sat beautifully in a shallow bowl and there were two smaller bowls above it.  One was empty and the other had what I soon learned was hollandaise sauce in it.  As I looked at the pretty presentation, I was filled with trepidation.  I had no idea how to eat it! Do I use a fork and a knife on it?  What was the empty bowl for?  Do I drizzle the hollandaise over the whole thing??  What I did know was, I was on my way to making a terrible first impression on my future husband’s family.  Was I to be defeated by an artichoke?

 Then it hit me; wait, watch, and do what the other family members did.  Pluck a leaf, dip the bottom bit in hollandaise and scrape the leaf against your bottom teeth to get the meat of the artichoke, then discard the tougher top of the leaf into the empty bowl.  The outer leaves had less ‘meat’ on them, but as I worked my way to the inner leaves, they became much more tender and ‘meatier’.   Some might say this seems like a lot of work while others feel it’s just a vehicle to eat hollandaise or another dipping sauce.  For me it was a delightful culinary experience!  Artichokes are prevalent in Spring and they’re much easier to prepare than you think. 

Try it for yourself and let me know what you think.

  Earlier this month I made the following recipes featuring the regal artichoke:

Steamed Artichokes with Garlic-Lemon Aioli

Artichoke Pesto Pasta  

Roasted Artichokes for a Charcuterie Board 

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