For the first time in my life, I tried to cook a dish that involved real and actual artichoke. You know, that pizza topping you don't like.
The experiment was a total and utter disaster.
Taking my cue from the Disrobed Chef, my helpful ally in many such an occasion, I went to work on four of these monsters. Look at that top left image and tell me that this things wasn't an extra in "Day of the Triffids". It's like a rose disguised as a cabbage.
Anyway, I cheerily went to work halving the artichoke and "clicking off", as Jamie put it, the green outer leaves. The more I clicked, the more I noticed that green leaves were almost all it was. Mr Oliver then instructed me to remove the choke in the artichoke's core. What my unsuspecting dessert spoon found in the heart of this vile vegetable, I can only described in one word: hair. That's right, there I was, sitting at the kitchen table, scooping whole handfuls of hair out of a vegetable.
I should have realized there and then that this was a lost cause. But I marched steadily on, filling the hollowed-out core of the heartless thing with a mixture of breadcrumbs, almonds, parsley and mint. It was not until 40 minutes later, when I took the artichokes out of the oven, that I realized why I was supposed to do this: it was the only edible thing in the oven. The Nude Head Cook, normally always so keen to point out how to deal with the uncommon vegetable, was utterly silent on which parts to eat, but my girlfriend an I soon found out: nothing of the vegetable looked even remotely edible. The few yellow leaves surrounding the filling had scorched into a tough, charred set of teeth-like triangles. The stems of the 'chokes did not seem like they were supposed to be eaten. In short, what we ate was the filling and not much else.
I am, of course, an unforgivable barbarian for not knowing how to eat a roasted artichoke (I vaguely remember once sucking the life essence out of some of those leaves, but that was a different type of dish). If anyone has any idea of what I did wrong, be sure to let me know (click Respond at top left).

Posted by cronopio at 01:15 PM, September 22, 2005