Steamed Artichokes with Herbed Caper Mayonnaise

Posted by Dacia April 13, 2010 2 Comments 200 views

Neko first tasted artichoke last year while we were out to eat. My mom and I were sitting outside on the patio at an Italian restaurant giving the kid repeated instructions to not shove entire leaves in her mouth, but instead use her teeth just to scrape off the artichoke meat from the base. Whether it was the delicious grilled artichoke flavor or the fun and excitement of eating in a new way, I don’t know, but the whole experience delighted Miss Neko. When the waiter came and tried to prematurely remove the dish before she was done, she burst into tears. It’s no surprise that “artichoke” was her first three-syllable word.

While grilled artichokes are crazy good, I haven’t had much luck in cooking them myself. I usually opt to just steam them quickly and serve them with an herbaceous dipping sauce. Neko gets her own artichoke and ignores all other food as she systematically tears off the leaves, using her little teeth to remove an impressive amount of meat with each bite.

When all the good leaves are gone, I remove the choke and cut out the tender heart and offer it to her. But while I think of the heart as the artichoke’s true prize, a reward for doing the hard work of getting through all those leaves, Neko tends to pass on the heart. For her, the enjoyment is all about the process. The focused leaf by leaf removal is not the precursor for her, but the main event.

Steamed Artichokes with Herbed Caper Mayonnaise
from the April 2008 Bon Appétit via epicurious.com

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs (I used a combo of chives and parsley)
2 tablespoons chopped drained capers
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 large artichokes, trimmed

Mix first 5 ingredients in small bowl; season herb mayonnaise with salt and pepper. Cover and chill.

Place steamer basket in large pot. Add just enough water to touch bottom of rack. Place artichokes on rack. Bring water to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and steam until artichokes are tender when base is pierced with small sharp knife, adding more water to pot as needed, about 50 minutes.

Place artichokes on plates; cool 10 minutes. Serve with herb mayonnaise.

Note: You can make the herb mayo a day in advance and steam the artichokes up to two hours in advance. Just let them rest at room temp and reheat them for a minute or two in the steamer before serving. Or just eat them at room temperature, which is what I usually do.

There are 2 Comments

  1. Pingback Tweets that mention Eat It, Kid. » Blog Archive » Steamed Artichokes with Herbed Caper Mayonnaise — Topsy.com

  2. - May 3, 2010

    great post as usual!

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