Monday, June 18, 2012

Artichokes for Louise's Picnic Game


Louise at Months of Edible Celebrations is organizing a big virtual picnic among all her blogger contacts. I'm participating in this picnic; my contribution, representing the letter A, will be steamed artichokes with mayonnaise. While I'm at it, I'll also put in some asparagus, and avocados from the fabulous Santa Barbara Farmers' Market.

Last Saturday I wrote about cooking artichokes -- see this post:

Artichokes


I described how I begin by trimming the sharply-pointed leaves, then I steam the artichokes and cool them off. If you picnic with me, don't forget -- whole steamed fresh artichokes must be eaten with care by scraping the soft part from each leaf with one's teeth. Artichokes are the only food I know of where instructions for eating them are as important as instructions for cooking them! If you are fearful, you can buy jars with just the soft interior leaves, marinated and ready to put in a salad, but it's nowhere near as fun as working with the big, tough thistle just off the stalk:


I just love seeing all the different kinds of artichokes in the market, and I'm equally excited about avocados and asparagus. I also steam the asparagus, and serve it chilled with vinaigrette for a picnic (or fresh from the steamer with butter.) Here's what you can see at the market here:


The avocado vendor:


I guess being away from home, where artichokes and avocados don't grow, makes me appreciate this all the more. I eat ripe avocados with lemon juice and salt, but of course they too can be made fancy or added to salads. And of course there's always guacamole, but it doesn't start with my letter A.




9 comments:

~~louise~~ said...

What a delicious picnic contribution Mae. I adore Artichokes and like you say, it is as important to know how to dress them as it is to take them out:)

Thank you so much for joining the Picnic Game. Where are you sitting, I need some of those Artichokes!!!

I Wilkerson said...

My kids would be soooo excited to get artichokes for a picnic. Mmmm! My contribution is coming up in a couple days. I love picnics!

kitchen flavours said...

Hi Mae, I'm stopping by from The Picnic Game. I have never eaten artichokes before, simply because we do not have it here! And when I do find it, it is way TOO EXPENSIVE to buy, since they are all imported! Would love to try it someday!

アンゼエリン said...

Artichokes are pricey right? Bringing this Artichokes for the picnic definitely makes everyone feel like royalty....

Mae Travels said...

Back where I normally live (Michigan) artichokes can be pretty pricy most of the year, but here at the farmers' market, where you buy them from the growers, they are very reasonable. Makes me feel lucky --- and as you say, like royalty!

Thanks for the comments!

Kathy said...

Mae, Just wanted to stop by and check out the Artichokes you are bringing to the picnic! They look lovely and are a great addition to the basket! Love Artichokes!! Nice to meet you!!

Mich - Piece of Cake said...

Hi Mae, nice to come across your blog from The Picnic Game. What a lovely letter A. It's hard to find artichokes where I live. I'd love to have some of your dish!

Erica Retrochef said...

Hello Mae, thanks for bringing these to the picnic -- they look delectable! (And fresh farmers market asparagus? Ohhhhhh yes!)

Quay Po Cooks said...

What great dish. I seldom get fresh artichokes here. Be ready that I will a lot of your dish:D