NAKED LUNCH or the art of stripping an artichoke

Artichokes, honey mustard dressing

Did you know that artichokes are on the list of aphrodisiac vegetables? Me either, but I learnt it today, reading Isabel Allendes “Aphrodite”. It’s the process of touching the fleshy artichoke with your hands, removing its leaves one by one, dipping them in creamy sauce, slurping and pulling them through your teeths to remove the soft, pulpy portion of petal. Making your way to the fuzzy center, spooning it out until you reach the tender, delicious heart, – and here comes the end of the love story – until you take the heart and eat it all up. Guess what, I love artichokes and that’s why they are my “plat du jour”. I know that hardly anybody prepares them at home, am I right? So let’s do it, let’s strip those alluring Lolitas of all vegetables (it makes me laugh that you will probably never again see an artichoke with the same innocent eyes that were overlooking them before).

Ingredients (serves 2 lovers as an entrée):

  • 2 large artichokes
  • honey mustard dressing from my last post

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Rinse the artichokes under cold water. With a sharp kitchen knife, cut about one inch from the top of the artichokes. Then, trim the stem about one half inch. Take any scissors or kitchen shears and snip off the thorns on the tip of the artichoke petals. Place the artichokes into the pot with rapidly boiling water. Cover the pot with the lid and let artichokes cook at a high simmer on stove until they are tender. Cooking time can vary between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on the size of the artichokes. While the artichokes are boiling, prepare the dressing/dip. Put the dressing into a little bowl and together with the artichokes place it on a plate. Share the meal with your lover – or just be self-indulgent and eat them all up on your own.

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