Sunday, January 29, 2012

Baby Artichokes

They are in season now, funny enough. So if you find baby artichokes - they are best battered and fried - but here are some other ideas. In all cases pull off the outer leaves, peel the stem, cut off the top pointy end of each and the very bottom discolored end of the stem. Keep them in a bowl with lemon juice as you work to prevent discoloration. Then you can marinate them in olive oil and vinegar with oregano, and roast them on the BBQ, then submerge completely in oil. I don't know why this isn't more common in the US, it is among the most delicious things imaginable. Next to them is an experiment: they were blanched briefly and covered with 1/2 strong brine and 1/2 white wine vinegar with fennel, coriander, bay, peppercorns. Why not? They could also just be put in a good O&V dressing after blanching and served as an appy.

It was an overall pickle day in fact. From big red bartop pickled eggs to little quail eggs in rice vinegared tea. Also meat, just to see what happens. Little salametti I made last night as demos for a workshop are now in brine and some other leftover odds and ends, just to see what happens. I also made some coppa stuffed in hogs middles. Should work nicely. What I'm really awaiting is the pickled broccoli rabe. They went very dark, smell a bit funky and I'm hoping haven't gone slimy. Fingers crossed.


Juana Isabella/Donna said...

I like to pickle baby artichokes too. Yum yum. I use the same procedure for making pickled cardoons. For the cardoons, I just cut the spears to the length of the jar they're going into.

Ken Albala said...

I never thought of cardoons! They're not terribly impressive raw, though a bagna cauda helps. But this is a great idea. Thanks!

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