I will have to pinch myself when I get invited to the Garlic Fair in Marseilles, which I have many related fantasies about. Until then I will be more than happy with the Gilroy Garlic Festival, especially as it is practically within arms reach.
Meanwhile, the other arm will be holding itself out to Castroville, or reaching down into the bins of Baby artichokes that no one else seems to care about. These are the sweetest and tastiest of them all. Once you get the hang of it, eating nearly the whole head will make the pulling at leaves with your teeth a wearisome task, and the flavor is just not as sweet and nutty.
Local Legend Dorothy McNett is a long time fixture on the Central Coast food scene. She recently gave an enlightening demonstration on how to cook artichokes in the microwave, which makes preparing these vitamin and antioxidant packed little treasures truly easy.
Check out Dorothy's website, where you will find proof in the hundreds of recipes she features. This site is organized and chock full of ideas. She is currently holding food demonstrations on Thursday nights in Pacific Grove in a small cozy setting on Oceanview and 15th. E mail Dorothy for a reservation as these 'Cooking Class Club” gatherings are usually sold out way in advance.
Dorothy served several unique wines paired with easy methods for cooking artichokes in the microwave. She also baked leeks with Pecarino, Brussels sprouts, fixed a kale salad, home made vinaigrette, and biscuits to die for... (Beef Wellington was on last week's menu). The gathering was full of great information and lots of laughs.
I tried the artichoke method at home, using baby artichokes. This worked, only the artichokes needed to be switched around in the container to even out the cooking all around.
Take a look at the slide show for visual details.
Here's my favorite recipe for artichokes, but there are plenty of ideas to be found on DorothyMcNett.com
¼ cup Coeur d'Olive virgin olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
1T dried Tarrragon
¼ t white pepper
¼ cup of Dijon mustard
½ cup Hellman's mayonnaise
½ cup Girards Champagne Vinaigrette
Crush two garlic cloves and place in olive oil, along with 1T crushed dried tarragon leaves into a microwavable bowl, and microwave for 20 seconds
Let sit while combining all other ingredients, whip together with blender wand, and add as the last ingredient.
Serve baby artichokes at room temperature, or warmed, with a chilled white wine and maybe a few slices of baguette. Dorothy even makes herself available via e mail to offer wine pairings to go with the recipes on her website........What's not to love? E firstname.lastname@example.org for some tasty suggestions.
Contact Kate Mulligan for suggested products, culinary events, articles, and comments.