Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Baby Artichokes, Cardone with Heirloom Red Quinoa

It seems like a while since I've cooked! I'm one of two new co-presidents of the Brown University alumni association and on Friday night we had a party for area high school seniors who have been accepted. There were a number of vegan items that the host picked up from Whole Foods Market, including hummus, cactus "cakes" with avocado dressing, raw vegetables, and more. We were still hungry so stopped by at Verde in Durham, where we enjoyed some tasty lentil soup and baked eggplant.

On Saturday, the vegetarian society had a potluck dinner with a speaker talking about Jainism (the world's oldest religion) and its relationship to vegetarianism. We had enough leftovers from the Brown party to bring with us.

Yesterday, we went to a good classical Indian music concert (sponsored by ICMDS which I used to serve on the Board of some years ago; Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan on Sitar and Shashank Subramanyam on Bamboo Flute were accompanied by Ramdas Palsule on Tabla and Parupalli Phalgun on Mridangam - flute and sitar made for an interesting combination that was quite pleasing!) and were both hungry so decided to eat out. We went to Panzanella Restaurant and were lucky to find that they had vegan pesto, used in their one vegan pasta dish, so ordered two (personal sized) vegan pesto pizzas, one with olives, tomatoes, and artichoke hearts, and the other with grilled eggplant and roasted garlic. So good!! We have now had two excellent pizza experiences in a row here and we both think this is probably the best pizza to be had in the area. We'll be back!

Today I steamed baby artichokes for about 20 minutes till tender, after removing a few tough outer leaves, cutting a bit off the stem, and cutting the top 10% or so off. I made a dipping sauce with melted Earth Balance vegan margarine, salt, pepper, fresh herbs (basil, oregano, and rosemary) from my garden, and some thinly sliced onion.

We have enjoyed seeing cardone growing in gardens - it looks like a giant thistle or artichoke, and has a big, pretty flower. It turns out that the stalks are edible after soaking in salt water for 3 hours (which I did) or overnight, after being cut into 1" or so pieces. I measured out water in a 3 to 1 ratio (normally 2 to 1 is used) to heirloom red quinoa. I put the water, rinsed cardone, and vegan bouillon cube into a pan and brought it to a boil. After 5 minutes or so, I added the quinoa and cooked for another 7-10 minutes or so, till the tell-tale spiral of the quinoa demonstrated its doneness. It tasted okay - a cross between celery and artichoke - and I'll try it again, maybe breaded then sauteed. I also served some fresh sour dough toast with roasted golden tomatoes.


At Tue May 01, 09:35:00 PM EDT, Blogger Mittens said...

Hello again..

I love artichokes but i hate preparing them...I am just curious how did you prepare the artichokes, are they steamed?
By the way I still read your blog daily, and I still love it!!
Thank you for being an inspiration!!

At Wed May 02, 12:57:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dilip said...

Thanks for your kind words, mittens! Sorry that I've been quite busy recently and had fallen behind a bit, but just added the description. Indeed, as you can now see, the artichokes are steamed. If it helps, try the search near the bottom of my home page, www.dilip.info - you can then search on items like baby artichokes and see how else I've prepared them. Best wishes!

At Sat May 05, 03:26:00 PM EDT, Blogger TNL said...

I do love artichokes.....esp. when baked.

I saw Shahid Parvez's concert when I was 12....I loved it....what other Classical Indian do you listen to?


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