Monday, 17 August 2009

Meat-Free Monday - Artichoke Vinaigrette

Artichoke Vinaigrette was love at first sight for me. The beautiful plump, fleshy flower, the ritual of tearing off the leaves one by one with your fingers and raking the meat from each with your teeth, the piquant sauce, scooping the choke out with a teaspoon to access the sweet, dense heart. All absolutely captivating and delicious.

I never prepare artichokes like this at home - if an artichoke darkens my doors, it knows it is going to be turned into an artichoke fritter - but I find them very hard to resist when I see them on a menu. Although I do take a very long time to eat them, so it isn't a dish for when I am in a hurry.

These were absolutely enormous and made a very substantial starter. In fact, with some good bread and butter (there was good bread and butter on the table BUT I DIDN'T EAT IT), an artichoke vinaigrette makes a very nice lunch or dinner.

This vinaigrette had so much mustard in it that it was almost the texture of mayonnaise. Very delicious, although I usually prefer a simple oil and vinegar vinaigrette, emulsified as you dabble each leaf in it. Such luxury!

Artichokes and vinegar are both bastards to match with wines, which also makes it very good for a booze-free Monday evening.

9 comments:

The Cat's Mother said...

what a huge artichoke. Would be a waste to fritter that one. I imagine there are specific varieties that are preferred for different dishes?

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Lovely FoodCat. Cat's Mother is right..that artichoke was huge. And I bet it was quite tasty too.

Ali said...

Oh yum. My mother always used to serve artichokes with butter and lemon, but recently a friend introduced me to artichokes with mayonnaise ... so yummy. I bet mustard is nice addition to this condiment.

alexandra's kitchen
www.alexandracooks.com

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

Yum! I have to say I don't have a huge amount of experience with artichokes but with all that bread and butter and your mouthwatering description I'm sure I could polish one off easily :)

Foodycat said...

Mother - oh probably. I know Judy said that the little ones were best for sott olio.

Teresa - it was delicious! The heart was so creamy.

Ali - with mayonnaise! How decadent!

Laura - they are very nice when you can get hold of them.

kat said...

Its usually served cold with a garlic aioli in california but I like my artichoke steamed with melted garlic butter, yum! I do miss living in artichoke country in california though where they were as big as our heads

Leslie said...

my GOD, I dont think I have ever seem a artichoke that big!

Foodycat said...

Kat - cold with aioli sounds magic!

Leslie - I know, right? Biggest artichoke I have ever seen!

Debinhawaii said...

I love to make artichokes and eat just them for dinner. Looks delicious!

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