Thursday, May 10, 2012

the armed vegetable

There has been some particularly lovely spring produce at my local grocery store of late...ramps, spring onions, green garlic, fava beans, english peas, asparagus, and wee little artichokes that fit right in the palm of your hand.

As long as I can remember, I have loved artichokes. Growing up, my parents would steam large globe artichokes; we would eat the leaves dipped in salted butter and fight over the hearts. The heart always felt like the delicious reward for struggling with the tough, spine-tipped leaves and the downy interior fibers. But we never made baby artichokes, so when I espied them at the store- so small! - I knew I wanted to try them.

I opted to keep preparation simple and roasted the artichokes with some lemon and olive oil. We sprinkled them with Maldon sea salt and ate them hot with our fingers before dinner.

And, as the poem goes,

Thus ends
in peace
this career
of the armed vegetable
which is called an artichoke

They were wonderful.

Roasted baby artichokes
2lbs baby artichokes, wash, trimmed, stems peeled, and with tough outer leaves removed (rub with lemon to keep from turning brown)
olive oil
sea salt

Preheat oven to 400F.

Place artichokes in a bowl and toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil and a generous pinch of flaky sea salt. Roast for 15-20 minutes on a baking sheet, flipping them once or twice. Sprinkle with additional salt and a squeeze of lemon. Eat while hot.

 Serves 2

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