Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Artichauts - Artichokes

How to Eat Artichokes According to La Varenne, artichoke bottoms should be eaten by taking off all the leaves as far as the choke, and then boiling the bottoms in acidulated [lemon juice or vinegar added] water. Then serve them with butter and salt and a sauce made of very fresh butter, vinegar, nutmeg and the yolk of an egg. I believe this is such a waste. I do cook the entire artichoke in acidulated water, anywhere from 35-45 minutes, or until tender all the way through. I make the sauce he suggests but then I remove each leaf, dipping it in the unctuous sauce and cleaning the "meat" of each off with my teeth--I can't bear to waste the tidbits of flesh found on each leaf. Artichokes were such a popular item of food that fabulous faïence [majolica] dishes were created for their service.

The French Cook, François Pierre La Varenne, Englished in 1653, p. 95, recipe #62.

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