Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bigger than Bean Sprout's Head

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.
For now.

18 comments:

Zoomie said...

Wow, those behemoths sound wonderful, as does your sauce! I have a recipe for making homemade mayo that I'll have to try on the 'chokes that MB brought home today. Not as splendiferous as yours but still...

ChrisB said...

I see my little friend in the background!

You make 'whisking up a dipping sauce' sound so simple~ sigh! When I know from experience it's an art I haven't mastered!

Kalyn said...

I want one! Haven't seen anything like that here.

dancingmorganmouse said...

mix the leftover 'choke puree with some mashed, cooked white beans, olive oil, lemon zest or juice, garlic & salt, it's a lovely sort-of-pate.

Mary Coleman said...

Cookie honey,
I don't think I have ever not finished an artichoke, so this must come under the category of don't eat anything bigger than your head.
That sauce sounds divine. I can't wait to try it!

the italian dish said...

Wow. Sounds like a science fiction movie. I sure wish I could experience one of those artichokes. By what you're describing, that is unbelievable!

Dagny said...

Those must be the same kind I had last week. I was only able to eat half of one at a time.

kudzu said...

Sure this isn't a demoted Pluto?

Wow, what a big 'un! I have a couple of Italian recipes that direct one to scrape the leaves in order to prepare --- whatever --- and this always seemed like much too finicky work. But with these papas, I think it would be worth the effort.

Anna Haight said...

Yum! Is it artichoke season again?

cook eat FRET said...

i waaaaant one
and your little dog too...

Kevin said...

CC,
I do love artichokes.

tammy said...

Brontosaurus leaves. They should be so lucky!

Rev. Biggles said...

Don't they have prickers?

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: Homemade mayo is fun to try. Make a small amount if you can.
Welcome back! Missed you.

ChrisB: Your little friend asks about you often.
As for the sauce: Try mixing equal portions of yogurt and mayonnaise, and then flavor it with a spoonful of Dijon mustard. Once you feel confident, you can branch out.

Kalyn: I don't even know if I was eating local food or if this came from Planet 9. (Which is not the same as Client 9.)

Morgan: What a terrific idea. I'll do that.

Mary Coleman: I'll admit that my doggie's head is not huge, and that this artichoke was not as big as my own head... but darn close.

Italian Dish: Big, heavy, compact... and cute! Too big, though.

Dagny: Must be the same since we both live in the Bay Area. Sigh. I mean, yay.

Kudzu: Har! Well, at least the leaves are cooked already, so the scraping can't be too hard. I'm looking forward to it.

Anna: It seems to have been artichoke season for a few weeks now! Go!

ceF: (Cue the evil bicycle music.)

Kevin: I will eat them as simple as possible, I love them so much.

Tammy: Who was doing the cooking back in the Jurassic Period? Oh yeah: volcano steam woks.

Biggles: No, they're well-behaved. The proto-prickers are receded into the scalloped leaves. Heaven.

Zoomie said...

Made the mayo, just a cup or so, and it was tasty with the artichokes. Ours were nearly as big as yours - MB couldn't finish the heart in his so we are saving it for him tonight, if I'm honorable, which is dicey sometimes...

RoxieWithMoxie said...

Hey, which market did you get them from? Just curious as I grew up in Lucas Valley, just a hop, skip, or jump from your lovely digs.

cookiecrumb said...

Roxie: How cool is that! You should know the market, then. It's Scotty's, on Freitas.

RoxieWithMoxie said...

Indeed I do know Scotty's. my dear ol' mum shops there. Good bangers.