Wednesday, December 20, 2017

the perfectly prepared artichoke

I've been very fond of artichokes, ever I encountered them chez la famille Pascal in the late sixties - first in Paris, then on the Ile aux Moines.   They were always prepared very simply: boiled, drained, and served on a round plate - with a large bowl in the center of the table ready for the sucked and discarded leaves.  These leaves had first been dipped in a simple oil and vinegar, or oil and lemon juice sauce.  The real refinement in all this, somehow, was when Claude taught me how to prop up my plate on a teaspoon, so as to create a slope - a slope that allowed for the sauce/dressing to form a convenient pool ready for leaf dunking.

Clearly, this artichoke, cut in half, and with three little pots (one of slightly, but only slightly browned melted butter, one of some kind of pimento sauce, and one with lemon-thyme aioli) reached unsuspected heights of sophistication, and was delicious.  And where did I encounter it?  Why, at a restaurant in Albuquerque called Artichoke, of course.

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