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.


Artichokes Saved from the Deep Freeze

Last year we had a really cold stretch of weather, and the only thing that survived was our Tuscan Kale. Included in things that did die was our artichoke plant, which was just getting ready to be harvested. Instead it froze solid and wilted to the ground. When the snow started today, I leapt into action and saved our artichokes, even though only one of them was a respectable size.

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