Tuesday, May 5, 2009

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I hope two pictures will get me further

I love the way artichokes look, all symmetrical and chubby green pine coney. Even more, I like how they taste, but.....I have never had the courage to d-i- y at home. My grocery store never had any that I would call knock-outs, they usually look tired and old and pricy. But wait! Things change and almost exactly at the same time Kalyn blogged about cooking the lovely thistle in a pressure cooker, I happened upon some beauties and voila: I had success! I was so happy, I could have danced around the kitchen, but there is no room. Instead, Gene and I ate like pigs. I had spent a good deal of time pondering an exact recipe to try and which dipping sauce to try. After all of my research, I combined Kalyn's pressure technique with Martha Rose Schulman's (New York Times) lemon-garlic-olive oil aromatics and her dipping sauce. Fear not, you can do it too. Go ahead now, have a look:

Quick Version Steamed Artichokes in Pressure Pan
What I did:
Trim the stem end only slightly since the stem is edible.
Rub the cut with a slice of lemon to prevent discoloration.
Rub each with olive oil and placed them into the pressure pan, stems up.
Add the juice of 1 lemon, drop the squeezed lemon into the pan
Add 1 head of garlic, separated into cloves, but not peeled into the pan
Add 2 cups water
Heat, to simmer, lock lid on and bring to full pressure, reduce heat to keep the pan under steam and pressure for 15 minutes.
Use quick release method to release pressure by removing pan from heat and running cold water over the locked pan lid until the steam stops and the safety valve has dropped and unlock the lid.
Remove the chokes from the steaming liquid to drain
Cut the chokes in half through their length and remove the fuzzy choke at the base of the leaves, carefully keeping the heart in tact with the stem.
Serve with dipping sauce or melted butter

Yogurt-Mayonnaise Vinaigrette

Traditionally steamed artichokes are served with drawn butter or with a mayonnaise. Schulman uses a vinaigrette-based sauce thickened with just a bit of mayonnaise and yogurt.
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
Sea salt or kosher salt to taste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, minced or pureed
2 tablespoon Best Foods or Hellmann’s mayonnaise
2 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Whisk together the vinegar, salt, Dijon mustard and garlic. Whisk in the mayonnaise, yogurt and olive oil, and blend well. Taste, adjust salt, and add pepper. Use as a dip for artichokes or other vegetables.
Yield: 3/4 cup
Variation: Substitute 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice for 1 tablespoon of the vinegar.


  1. You should have danced! that looks like a lovely recipe. Without a pressure cooker do I simply extend cooking time?

  2. Hey Sarah, sorry I did not clarify the regular method could take upwards of 45 minutes. If you tug on a leaf and it releases easily, then it is done. Good luck, let me know if you make them. BTW, a pressure pan is a great investment and time saver. You no longer have to fear minor kitchen explosions, they are much safer to use now than in times past.

  3. Found your blog via PetitChef. :-) I really like it. I love, love artichokes, but have never done them in a pressure cooker. I confess I am still scared of pressure cookers. (I know ... silly.) Anyway, you should post this for Diane of The W.H.O.L.E. Gang's Friday Foodie Fix. This Friday the ingredient is artichokes. Here's the link from last week FFF. Diane cooks gluten free, but welcomes all participants. Your recipe is naturally gluten free. http://thewholegang.typepad.com/blog/2009/04/friday-foodie-fix-strawberries.html

    I'll be back. Best,

  4. Love both of your pictures! :) I have never cooked an artichoke - they always intimidate me, but I should try it!

  5. Hi Hillary, I felt the same way, totally intimidated. I can say my results were great. My advice to you: go for it! P.S. Thanks for the photo comments, and let me know if you try the artichokes.