“Life is like eating artichokes, you have to go through so much to get so little.” – Thomas Aloysius Dorgan
. . . or you go through so much to experience SO MUCH MORE!
We are in the middle of artichoke season; what better way to enjoy this delicious food than with Rich & Creamy Melt® Organic Spread?
- 1-2 gorgeous artichokes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lemon
- 2 garlic cloves
- ~½ cup total Melt® Organic Spread
- 4-5 Capers, rinsed in cold water, mashed with fork (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking the Artichoke:
1. Optional: If you are worried about a prickly artichoke, you can cut off the thorns using kitchen scissors.
2. Slice ¾ to 1 inch off of the top of the artichoke.
3. Cut off excess stem so there is no more than 1 inch length left. If you don’t have much stem, then slice off enough so the stem cutting is “fresh.”
4. Slice the artichoke soundly in half lengthwise.
5. Rinse the artichoke halves in cold water.
6. Place your steamer insert into a large pot that has a snug lid (I like using a soup pot) and fill with water to just below the level of your steamer insert. Add the bay leaf, one garlic clove and a slice of lemon to rest on the steamer insert.
7. Add artichokes to the pot, bring water to a boil, and steam the artichoke halves on medium to low-medium heat for 40 minutes, covered snugly with a lid.
8. Towards the end of the steaming, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
9. Remove the artichokes from the steamer, discard the garlic, bay leaf, and lemon slice, and peel off the tiny, tough, meatless outer leaves of the artichoke.
10. Schmear a generous spoonful of Melt on the open faces of the artichoke halves, being sure to spread it on the entire surface of the open face. To really double down, you can stuff small pats of Melt® in between the larger outer leaves.
11. Place face-down on a cooking sheet. Cover the artichoke halves with foil to prevent them from losing moisture.
12. Place in oven and roast artichokes for 25-30 minutes.
13. Remove from oven, and get ready to enjoy! Your artichokes should be nice and golden brown on the open face, but the leaves still full of moisture. Now take a spoon, remove the inedible fuzzy part from the hearts. I also remove many of the inside purple petal leaves since they have no artichoke meat. This step can be done after the artichokes are steamed, but I wait until after they are roasted in order to keep it as moist as possible.
Making Mayo-Free, Gluten-Free Melt® Organic Dipping Sauce:
How much Melt dipping sauce is needed depends on how many artichokes you cook along with how glutinous you are. Personally, I find that more is more, so I err to the generous side.
Side note: This Melt dipping sauce is excellent for more than just artichokes; it is delectable with crab, lobster, clams, shrimp . . .
1. Gently melt ¼ cup of Rich & Creamy Melt® Organic Spread in a sauce pan over low heat or microwave for 15 seconds, or until Melt® is just barely liquefied and still opaque – whisk/stir with a fork to complete the liquefaction instead of heating it longer. This will keep the dipping sauce a little “thicker” instead of a little “thinner”.
2. Turn off the heat.
3. Add 1 clove of freshly crushed garlic and whisk/stir it in with a fork so the garlic oil diffuses into the Melt.
4. Add fresh lemon juice to taste, starting with 1 teaspoon and working up to 2 teaspoons depending on how you like it (approximately ¼ to ½ of a lemon).
5. Optional: rinse off 4-5 capers under cold water, mash with fork (I use my thumb and fore finger); add to the dipping sauce and whisk with a fork.
6. Peel off the leaves, starting from the outer layers and working in; dip the base of the artichoke leaf into the Melt® dipping sauce, saving the heart for last…