The Feast of the Forgotten Vegetables

Our friend Lark just invited us to the most impressive dinner party the other week, inspired by a festival she ran into somewhere in Europe I want to say. Maybe France? Or Spain. At any rate, it celebrated the late-season root vegetables and hearty greens that are still around, nearly forgotten in the garden. She and her sisters-in-law cooked probably 10 different dishes, served thali-style, and it was absolutely incredible.

I was doing some late-fall putting away of the garden this afternoon, and came upon three artichokes that were still OK. Inspired by the Feast of the Forgotten Vegetables, I tossed them on the porch to bring inside, though I will admit that in the back of my mind I was thinking, “Those will sit in the crisper for a few months before I throw them in the compost.”

We just let our artichokes bloom this year, partly because the purple thistle was so pretty, and partly because I was for some reason intimidated by the spiky things. This is our second year growing artichokes, and until tonight, we’d never cooked them. But after the kids went to bed I wanted a snack, and there they were.

Boiled for 20 minutes. Melted butter with lemon. Seriously, these were the best artichokes I’ve ever had. Surprisingly tender. But seriously, as a side point, who figured out you could eat those things? “Ok, now you’re going to scrape inside of the very bottom of the leaf off with your teeth — no seriously, it’s good.”

I’m on board. No more letting them blossom for the color, we’re eating them from now on.

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