We were coming out of some crazy busy days and I was looking at our family calendar only to find meetings, activities, birthday parties, gatherings and up-coming holidays that continue to pile up… Generally, I refuse to complain about being busy; deep down we all know it- being busy is a blessing! However, sometimes it is a real struggle to find time to be together; time is flying so fast and I just want to hold it by its reins and tell it to slow down the pace… Whenever I feel this way, it makes me feel nostalgic… I think of the days when time moved in a much slower pace and allowed people to sit with each other and have meaningful connections. I think of my childhood and our family gatherings at my Savta’s (grandma) house. I think of meals that were all about socializing and enjoying each other’s company… and I think of Artichokes…
Check out this simple yet genius dish that does exactly that.
This dish is a true throwback and it actually has the power to pause time… My Savta used to serve this dish after a meal. Artichokes are known for many health benefits, including its effectiveness to improve digestion, but beyond the health reasons, this dish is a true social activity. An after party activity 🙂 I remember my family taking the time to sit, listen, chat and truly share quality time together while eating this dish. The eating method starts with one leaf at a time, biting just the edge of the leaf until you get to the BEST part… the center.
Check out Afooda’s Oops moments for this dish’s authentic name. Trust me, I had put it there…
You will need:
6 Qt. Water
1 Bay Leaf
1 tbsp. Salt
For Aioli Dipping:
[Measurements are optional and vary on personal preference]
3 tbsp. Mayonnaise
1 clove of Garlic
1-2 pieces of Preserved Lemon
1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
¼ tsp. Black Pepper
Let’s do this!
Start by cutting the stem of the artichoke just a little and close to the bottom.
Wash the artichokes super well.
Arrange the artichokes in a large pot and squeeze a whole lemon on top of them. Drop the lemon halves into the pot as well.
Generously fill the pot with cold water. The artichokes like to float a bit, but try to have the water cover them or at least most of them…
Add one bay leaf.
Add the salt into the pot.
O.K. let’s bring this party to a boil. Allow the artichokes to boil for a couple of minutes and then lower the heat to low medium. Cover the pot and cook for 45 minutes to an hour until the center of the artichokes become soft.
Serve the artichokes warm or at room temperature along with a small pile of salt for dipping…
Want to get a little FANCY?
Let’s make Aioli:
Mince fresh garlic and preserved lemons (a slice or two) and add them to the mayonnaise.
Add freshly squeezed lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper.
Whisk well to combine. The aioli is ready!
Zest a lemon over the artichokes and serve along with the super flavorful aioli.
Eating Boiled Artichokes 101
I like eating the artichoke just like we used to at my Savta’s house…a little pile of salt on the side of my plate and taking my time, pulling one leaf at a time, eating just the edge of each leaf.
Once I get to the center, I use my fingers to gently pull the fuzzy part off from the bottom of the artichoke. The fuzzy part is not edible… once the bottom of the artichoke is clean, I sprinkle with a little salt and eat away! It is the BEST part.
Take a look at your plate after you are done eating, isn’t it full? 🙂 As kids we loved telling this riddle over and over again: “Name the dish- the more you eat, the more you will have on your plate” Do you know the answer… 🙂
Wash the Artichokes well.
Place Artichokes in a large pot.
Add freshly squeezed Lemon Juice and Lemon halves in the pot.
Add cold Water generously and sprinkle with Salt.
Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.
Cook covered on low-medium heat for 45 minutes to an hour.
Serve warm or at room temperature along with Salt or Aioli.