Friday, May 19, 2006

Sauteed baby artichoke quarters with quinoa and purple asparagus

I had some baby artichokes that I had cut the top third or so off and was preparing to steam, but then I got an idea from a Watsonville (in California where the vast majority of artichokes are grown in the U.S.; I've enjoyed visiting several times!) farm's web page. I removed the tough outer layers of leaves till I got to fairly tight and lighter colored ones, cut the bottoms and a little more of the tops off, then quartered them and placed them in lime juice to avoid discoloration. I chopped some garlic and sauteed the artichokes, garlic, and some oregano and rosemary in artisinal extra virgin Greek olive oil. Near the end of the saute when the quarters were browning, I took an excellent suggestion of my wife's and added some pine nuts to gently brown as well.

I served the artichoke quarters atop quinoa. For the quinoa, I quickly sauteed a little carrot and onion in very little oil then added the quinoa grain and vegetable broth in a 1:2 ratio. I brought the pan to a boil, simmered for about five minutes, then simply covered the pan and took it off the heat - in about 15 minutes all the broth was absorbed.

I also quickly steamed some purple asparagus. I had never seen purple asparagus before, and read that it is so sweet that it can even be enjoyed raw (I tried it and it was decent, but steamed was better). I first sprinkled some lime juice on the asparagus to try to keep the gorgeous deep violet-purple color, but after just 5 minutes of steaming, the color was mostly gone.

Finishing up the dinner was a wheat English muffin with pesto and heirloom tomato. I'm glad I learned a new technique for preparing artichokes - they were good!

Yesterday I attended a very interesting 4-hour photography seminar that didn't give me time to cook, so I stopped at Whole Foods Market and made a hot- and cold- salad plate for myself. On Tuesday, it was my Dad's birthday; my parents came over for some good South Indian dishes that my wife prepared.

2 Comments:

At Sun May 21, 01:23:00 AM EDT, Blogger sangeetagod said...

This was an AWSOME dinner!!!! Thanks for cooking!!!!

Dilip's Wife

 
At Sun May 21, 01:24:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dilip said...

Thanks. I was delighted to get the idea of trying to saute the artichokes. Thanks for being my wife and my dining companion :-) !

--Dilip

 

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