I love spring. I love that it is sunny, I love that I can open my windows during the day and I love that my kids can play outside and leave me alone for a minute. And I love the arrival of delicious spring produce. Like arugula. And snap peas. And asparagus. And the lovely artichoke. Sure, we live in an industrial world where you can get any of these foods any time, but they are fresher and taste better in the spring.
My wife and I have a slight addiction to the lovely artichoke. We get excited when we see them pop up at the stores and we eat about a metric ton before it gets to warm and they lose their great flavor. Sure you can boil them, which is the only way I had them as a kid, but they are so much better grilled. Here's how to do it. (And I took lots of photos so it would seem like I am the Pioneer Woman, but without her camera skills or audience of millions.)
Then, using your sharp knife, cut the bottom of the stem off and peel the stem, pulling off the bottom 2 or 3 leaves as you do - they will be too tough anyway and won't have anything on them to eat. Note: If you happen to be taking pictures of yourself preparing artichokes and holding a very sharp kinfe and your iPhone and an artichoke at the same time, don't cut your hand off.
Take a spoon and scoop it out. Make sure you get it all.
Drain the water and dress the artichokes generously with olive oil, salt and pepper. I like a lot of salt becaues I am adicted to things that are bad for me (hello, Diet Coke!) but do what you will.
Check out that char!
To eat, start at the outside and peel the leaves off. Dip the end of the leaf in some kind of a dipping sauce and then scrape the soft part off with your teeth. Then discard the leaf. (Really, who thought of eating these things first?) The traditional dip is melted butter or mayonaise, which would be fine. My wife uses a balsamic vineagrette. And I like to use this little wonder which I buy by the case when I am in the vicinity of a Trader Joe's expressly for this purpose. Trader Joe's Sweet Chili Sauce. Uh, yum.
So, don't you want some artichokes right now? You could have this for dinner TONIGHT! Our you could go wander around campus and hope someone give you money for a taco. I'm just sayin...