Kids often get asked “what’s your favorite color?” or “what’s your favorite food?” Well, as a child when I was asked what my favorite food was, I responded with an innocent voice: “artichokes”. No joke. It was hands down my favorite thing to eat; in my mind it was ten times better than pizza, hamburgers, ice-cream…it beat them all! I was a great eater. Any mother wished they had me as their own child when it came to eating well. I would like all meals and lick the plate clean (literally). I would eat anything. I remember my mom sitting down with us after school every day and having lunch with us. Three courses usually: soup/appetizer, entrée and dessert (not always, only if we were lucky…my mom didn’t like to consume very many sugars, and since she was the queen of the house, it depended on weather or not she felt like indulging a bit!).
My eyes would open wide and brighten up when my maid or mom would inform us we were having artichokes as the appetizer. So good! It was so good because eating it was a total experience. From removing each leaf and dipping it in the sauce, to getting rid of the small “thorns” that led to the artichoke’s heart (my favorite part of the artichoke)…it was all amazing. [You’ll get a better grasp at how this process works; it’s explained later in this post, below the recipe’s steps.]
Plus, artichokes are so pretty! They look like flowers with big, bold green flower leaves. Love them!
Today, I’ve decided to take you all back to my childhood days and share my favorite appetizer. This recipe came straight from Ecuador, just for you!
Tools You’ll Need:
- Large pot
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Kitchen shears
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring spoons
- Two artichokes
- 3 hardboiled eggs (peeled)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons purified water
- Sea salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- Cut the stem off the artichoke, leaving a flat bottom for it to stand on.
- With your sharp knife, cut the top off the artichoke and discard.
- The tips of the leaves have little spikes, trim those with your kitchen shears so that they don’t poke people.
- Place artichokes in a large pot and fill it with water so that it covers the artichokes by an inch or two. Place under heat and bring to a boil. Once it boils, leave artichokes cooking for 45 minutes.
- While your artichokes cook, prepare your dipping sauce. Start by separating your yokes from your egg whites. Smash yokes with a fork and finely chop egg whites with your sharp knife; place these in a bowl and combine with the rest of your ingredients (green onion, white vinegar, mustard, olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper); mix all of these ingredients together well. Lastly, add purified water and mix again. Place dipping sauce in refrigerator.
- After your artichokes have been in boiling water for 45 minutes, drain the water and let artichokes cool off a bit (you still want your artichokes to be hot when you eat them, so don’t let them cool off too much!)
- Place artichokes in a fancy plate, pour dipping sauce in a dipping sauce plate and eat away!
* Serves two people.
* Nutritional Information (per serving): 214 calories; 10g fat; 19g carbohydrates; 14g protein
* Just in case you’ve never eaten artichokes this way before, this is how to do it:
- Remove one leaf and dip the bottom of the leaf (which contains a bit of the artichoke “meat”) in the dipping sauce. Scrape artichoke meat from the leaf with your teeth and swallow. Discard rest of the leaf.
- Repeat step above until you’ve eaten all leaves.
- Once you no longer have leaves, you are left with the artichoke heart and the artichoke spines (which are found on top of the heart, see pictures). Carefully remove ALL spines and discard them.
- Now that you only have your artichoke heart left, cut it in small squares and place them all in your dipping sauce. Combine thoroughly and eat! SO GOOD!