Recipe: Artichokes and vinaigrette by Tina Galhaut
For the Nevada Appeal
This is the time of year for artichokes; March through May is peak season, then they reappear again in October.
Growing up we always had artichokes with butter or mayonnaise for dipping the tender leaves into.
However, the French whip up a vinaigrette for dipping instead and I much prefer them this way.
Serving individual artichokes is the most visually pleasing and palate stunning way to start a meal; artichokes are also great picnic snacks and can be done ahead of time for a quick go-to lunch.
Don’t be afraid to pair your artichokes with wine, choose a crisp-dry white wine such as a Bordeaux blanc or a light-dry red wine like a Bourgogne and you will be quite happy with the combination(s).
Artichokes and vinaigrette
For the artichokes:
4-6 artichokes (look for an even green color and tight leaves; it should be firm when you squeeze it)
1 tablespoon salt
Using a large pot (or dutch oven) fill 2/3 full of water, add a tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil.
With a sharp chef’s knife, cut the top 1/3 of the artichoke off and then the stem (you want a smooth bottom).
Using kitchen scissors cut the top 1/3 of the pointy leaves off, being careful of the thorns, peel off the smaller leaves.
Soak in a bowl of water while you prepare the other artichokes.
Place artichokes into the pot of boiling water, reduce temperature to simmer and cover.
Boil for 20-40 minutes, depending on size. Test the artichoke by pulling off an outer leaf; if it comes away easily, they’re done.
Drain the artichokes upside down on a plate or in a bowl.
When the artichokes are cool, take a soup spoon and scoop out the center of the choke, leaving the bottom (the “heart” intact). This is where you will put the dipping vinaigrette (see photo).
Serve at room temperature in individual bowls with an empty bowl for the leaves.
For the vinaigrette:
Rice wine vinegar (or your favorite vinegar)
Extra virgin olive oil (or walnut oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
Mince a whole shallot (or two if they are small) and place in a small mixing bowl.
Add 6 tablespoons of vinegar to the bowl of minced shallots.
Add salt and pepper to taste (about a 1/2 teaspoon or so of each).
Allow this mixture to sit for about 5-10 minutes.
Add 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard to the mixture and mix with a fork until well blended.
Slowly incorporate 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil into the mixture, adding more oil if it’s too thick.
Adjust your salt and pepper to taste.
This vinaigrette can be covered and refrigerated for two days. It makes about 1 1/2 cups of vinaigrette.
If you have never eaten artichokes before, the parts you eat are the leaves (from the meaty middle to the end) and the heart, which is well worth the retrieval effort. To get the heart, eat all the leaves until you reach the choke, which is fuzzy. The heart is underneath the fuzz, so use a spoon to scrape it away, then trim away the dark green bits from the bottom and sides of the heart, enjoy!
Tina Galhaut has been cooking, baking and living gluten-free these past four years, testing many recipes on her teenage son, Logan, until they are as good or better than the original. As wife, mother and co-owner of Z Bistro in North Carson, Tina and her chef husband Gilles offer many gluten-free selections on their menu. Contact Tina by email at email@example.com.