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Whole 30, Day 23: Globe artichoke

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It's Whole 30, Day 23 and today's favourite veg is: Globe artichoke

These are funny little things, aren't they? Globe artichokes (not to be confused with Jerusalem artichokes) are members of the thistle family, which I think is glaringly obvious from their bud-like appearance. Well, it's not just bud-like, globe artichokes are actually flower buds! You can eat the fleshy little lobes or split the globe in two in search of the heart.

Artichoke hearts make great pizza or bruschetta toppers and combine very well with acidic ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar. In cooking the whole globe you can boil them, steam them, barbeque them, saute them, etc. The preparation options are greater with younger, more tender artichokes. Today's recipe is a good one for Christmas morning, since artichokes are usually plentiful in winter, but is also a great one to have on hand if you are trying to impress someone special over breakfast or brunch ;-)

This week is a double header from Martha Stewart. This recipe was originally featured on www.marthastewart.com

Steamed Artichokes with Soft Poached Eggs and Smoked Salmon

Serves 4

4 medium or large artichokes
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 medium or large eggs
Martha's Hollandaise Sauce (below)
4 thin slices smoked salmon (2 ounces total)

Cut off stems of artichokes flush with bottoms; discard. Using kitchen scissors, trim outer layers of leaves and thorns.
Fill a large stockpot with 2 inches of water. Set a steamer basket over water. Stand artichokes upright in basket; cover pot. Bring to a boil. Steam until bottoms of artichokes are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove artichokes from pot; let stand until cool enough to handle. Remove and discard inner leaves, leaving trimmed outer leaves to create a flowerlike shape. Using a teaspoon, remove fuzzy choke and any purple leaves; discard. Gently spread apart artichoke leaves to create desired appearance. Season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.
Fill a large saucepan with 4 inches of water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. When water is barely simmering, break 1 egg into a small heatproof bowl. Gently tip bowl to slide egg carefully into water in pan. Repeat with remaining eggs. Cook until whites are set but yolks are still soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Lift out eggs with a slotted spoon; briefly rest spoon on paper towels to drain eggs.
Immediately spoon 1 egg inside each artichoke (be careful not to pierce yolk). Spoon about 1 tablespoon hollandaise sauce over top of each egg. Drape 1 slice salmon on top. Serve with hollandaise.

Martha's Hollandaise Sauce
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
4 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Coarse salt

Whisk yolks in a large heatproof glass bowl until they begin to turn pale, about 1 minute. Whisk in 4 1/2 teaspoons warm water. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water; heat yolk mixture, whisking vigorously, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes (do not overcook). Remove bowl from pan. Whisk in lemon juice.
Whisking constantly, pour in melted butter, one drop at a time at first, leaving milky solids behind; whisk until thickened. Season with salt. If not serving immediately, pour hot water from pan into a separate (cool) pan; set bowl on top. Keep sauce warm, whisking occasionally, up to 30 minutes. If sauce becomes too thick, whisk in warm water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to thin.

Previous posts in this series:
Whole 30, Day 1: Leeks
Whole 30, Day 2: Peppers
Whole 30, Day 3: Celeriac
Whole 30, Day 4: Turnips
Whole 30, Day 5: Spinach
Whole 30, Day 6: Aubergine/Eggplant
Whole 30, Day 7: Broccoli
Whole 30, Day 8: Mushrooms
Whole 30, Day 9: Cabbage
Whole 30, Day 10: Carrots
Whole 30, Day 11: Fennel
Whole 30, Day 12: Sweet Potatoes
Whole 30, Day 13: Chicory
Whole 30, Day 14: Asparagus
Whole 30, Day 15: Cauliflower
Whole 30, Day 16: Courgette/Zucchini
Whole 30, Day 17: Kale
Whole 30, Day 18: Butternut Squash
Whole 30, Day 19: Celery
Whole 30, Day 20: Bok Choy
Whole 30, Day 21: Tomatoes
Whole 20, Day 22: Onions
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