Spring vegetables are slowly trickling in to the High Country. This week, I found some beautiful purple and green artichokes. They look like the artificial ones I used in my Thanksgiving tablescape.
I grew up eating steamed artichokes dipped in a butter sauce. Later, my mother had a copy of Betty Rosbottom's Cooking School Cookbook which includes a fabulous recipe for a dipping sauce made with brie. The cookbook has limited availability and my mom's copy washed away in Katrina so that recipe was not an option. It is just as well though, since brie in any quantity does not do much for your cholesterol.
Looking around for a healthier option than butter, or butter and lemon, I found a recipe on Cooking Light that I modified considerably. Mine is not quite as low fat and low salt as theirs, but it is still considerably better than lots of butter. B and I thought that this was quite a treat.
Steamed Artichokes with Red Wine- Roasted Garlic Sauce
- 2 whole garlic heads
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- 2 medium artichokes
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1 cup good quality chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Remove white papery skin from garlic heads (do not peel or separate the cloves). Wrap each head separately in foil with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes; cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins.
- Cut stems off of artichokes, and remove bottom leaves. Trim about 1/2 inch from tops of artichokes. Cut two 1/2 inch slices out of the lemon and divide the remaining lemon into 4-5 pieces.
- Fill a large sauce pan with a steamer basket about two-thirds full with water; add the black pepper corns and the pieces of lemon.
- Put the artichokes stem end down in the steamer and top each with 1/4 tablespoon of salt and a slice of lemon. Bring the water to a boil.
- Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until a leaf near the center of each artichoke pulls out easily.
- Remove artichokes from pan, leaving lemon slice in place.
- While the artichokes steam, combine half of garlic pulp, red wine and chicken broth in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 10 minutes).
- Remove from heat; stir in butter and salt. Allow mixture to cool before pouring into mini-food processor or blender.
- Blend until smooth then re-warm in the saucepan. Serve dip with warm artichokes.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
I cooked the artichokes, steaming them with salt, peppercorns and lemon, then made the sauce. The original recipe called for white wine, which I discovered we didn't have. I substituted red which gave the sauce a mauve color. It may not have looked as appealing as a white wine sauce, but it worked visually with the purple and green artichokes.
B, my less adventurous diner, shared my artichoke and loved the sauce. Next time he will get his own!