Monday, July 18, 2011

Tomatoes, Strawberries and Artichokes Miscellany

Tonight I had the perfect summer dinner for one girl - sweet grape tomatoes chopped with bits of garlic, tossed with nice olive oil and sprinklings of salt and pepper.  This was heaped generously atop some toasts (Cook's Illustrated's almost no-knead bread).  It's crazy, I don't know what happens to tomatoes when they come into contact with olive oil and salt, but the whole thing just tasted far more complex than the simple list of ingredients would suggest.  I mean, I didn't even add any basil.  In a few minutes I will enjoy the rest of my blackberries with a cup of tea, but for now the taste of garlic lingers pleasantly on the tongue (actually I hope it does not make my blackberries taste gross later...)

These strawberries were actually harvested and eaten the day after I returned from mouse course.  Though they were tiny, they were wildly delicious and all the more so because I grew them myself.  Naturally, I gave one of them to my neighbor who tended to Tony while I was away.

As you may recall from my Farmer's Market post, I bought several baby artichokes on Saturday and conducted a series of experiments this weekend.  All artichokes were split in half, prior to cooking.

1. Heat generous glugs of olive oil in cast iron pan, salt and pepper your chokes and cook.
2. Boil in water.
3. Boil in water then salt and pepper 'em and fry in olive oil.

Of the methods I tried, #1 turned out to be a bit of a disaster (N recommended this method to me and now he says my oil must have been too hot or I did not remove a sufficient number of outer leaves, or likely both - actually this is all true).  #2 was nice and tender and is the way I've traditionally eaten artichokes, but compared to #3 it was quite bland.  #3 will be my go to method of eating baby artichokes from now on.  Perfectly tender and very fragrant.  I bought both green and purple artichokes, but I think in the future I will stick with the greens, because their artichoky flavor seemed to hold up better after frying.  The purple ones are so pretty though.  However, I did learn that one gains nothing by keeping too many leaves on.  The outer two or three rows of leaves are basically inedible.

1 comment:

  1. ooo this looks delicious. i'll have to try some artichoke