I’ve told you about growing artichokes, right? That artichokes don’t really like South Texas. That they went into the garden last year and I babied them throughout the hot and dry August, watering even though they didn’t produce a single artichoke. That I babied them through the weird winter, hoping, hoping. That I finally, carefully uncovered them under the mulch to find the core of the plant, only to have another frost that nipped their leaves enough so I feared I’d lost them. That finally in the warm Spring, I composted their roots and watered. And each day, I’d go out and see ladybugs covering their leaves in March and April. Then in May, the ladybugs were replaced by stink bugs, madly making more stink bugs. I thumped them off and generally made their lives a bit chaotic. There are still so many, it’s not funny, all clustered together on the buds and in the dark spaces between the leaves and the stalks. Creepy! But that’s not the Mark Bittman part yet.
I have been collecting the artichoke buds for about a week now, cutting each one when I think that if I leave it any longer, it will open and become inedible. I had about 10 in the refrigerator, ready for last night’s dinner. So I went looking for a way to cook them that wasn’t a simple steam or saute. And I found a Mark Bittman video.
Baby artichokes braised with grape tomatoes, whole garlic cloves and oil-cured olives. He said eat with a half a loaf of crusty bread. He said eat for lunch. We had them for dinner, with nothing more than a half a loaf of crusty bread. Man, oh man!!!! Clean them up, cut in half and brown in olive oil. Dump in the rest of the stuff, add about 1/2 cup of water and put the lid on and walk away. 25 minutes later. Man, oh MAN!!!!
I’m going to try this same method will full grown artichokes and we’ll pull off and eat the leaves rather than eating them whole like the babies.
P.S., I don’t think he grew his.