I have never seen this kind of artichoke in person before. It showed up at our local anachronistic upscale market a few days ago, and today they're already gone.
Cranky was out doing the rounds and told me about this Mork from Ork sighting.
"And you didn't buy them?" I asked. "Remember when I saw that fresh local rabbit for sale, and I'd never seen one for sale before, and I had to have it, and it was so worth it?"
Anything that good-looking, that unusual: you have to buy it.
He remembered, and he liked the analogy. Enough to trot down to the market to grab a couple of orbs.
Mon dieu, they are large! (And I believe they are French, though I don't know the exact variety.) They are so compactly layered, they are nearly perfect spheres. With adorable roundy scalloped leaves.
We whisked up a wonderful dipping sauce of mayonnaise, yogurt and some leftover olive/anchovy/oil/lemon zest... a bit more tinkering with flavors, and we were totally there. Then we decided to nearly double the amount of the dipping sauce, because, jeepers, these artichokes were big.
For the first time in my life, I didn't finish eating an artichoke. The leaves were so fleshy, you'd have to call them meaty. Brontosaurus leaves. Some of them were nearly four inches across. I can't imagine what that heart's like down in there!
So we have leftovers. I'm thinking about scraping the leaves and making some sort of puree for an omelet, along with cubed artichoke hearts. And a splash of that really good dipping sauce.
Today at the store we snapped up two of the remaining huge green planets, which are safe in the fridge for now.