Globe artichoke... simply with butter...

It has been a while since I've tried a globe artichoke for the very first time. Actually, when I think about it, it was the only time I had a pleasure to eat a globe artichoke like that (artichoke hearts from jars don't count!). It was summer 2002, Brittany in France. Probably one of  the best places to eat an artichoke for the very first time :) I was visiting my friend - Berengere - and on one of the sunny days, her mum prepared artichokes. Simply. On it's own, with a side of melted butter.
I tried to remember how it was prepared/cooked, but the only thing I could remember was, that it was baked in the oven, at least I think it was... I couldn't think of anything more specific, so decided to boil mine - so I won't make a total mess out of it and it will still be edible...

It didn't take long. The waiting time when the artichoke was simmering happily in the pot, was full of anticipation, curiosity and a bit of anxiety as well. I can honestly and proudly say that I've succeeded! The result - soft green leaves, of a distinctive taste and a lot of fun while eating - with your fingers of course! This little, leafy globe will be perfect starter during a summer party, small gathering and even a "meal for one" (you really can't cook "too much" here!). Or, like it was in my case, a meeting of two, dear friends...

globe artichoke

My memories came back! With a bang! The moment I tore off that first leaf, dunk it in the butter and tasted it... Yes, I was in France! It's really amazing how smell and taste can bring back so many memories, literally transform us to days long gone... Now, I miss that summer. Chatting to my dear friend, who I haven't seen for few years now... time to change that!

How to make it...
- artichoke (1 per person)
- for every 1,2 liters water (2 pints) 2 teaspoons of salt & 2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar

Trim the base of the artichoke so it sits steadily in the pot. In a rather big pot, bring to boil water with salt and vinegar. Pop in the artichokes and bring back to the boiling. Simmer steadily for about 25 minutes, check if cooked by tugging of one of the leaves by the base, if cooked - it will come off easily, if not, simmer for few minutes longer. Remove from the pot and drain up side down on a colander. While they're cooking melt some butter and you can add lemon juice to taste.
To serve: put each warm artichoke onto a hot serving plate and serve the sauce or melted butter in a little bowl beside it. Artichokes are eaten with your finger, by pulling off the leaves, each one separately, starting from the base and going up. Then you dip the bottom of the leaf in the butter/sauce and enjoy!


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