THE SWEET PUNGENT FLAVOR OF SPRING
there are so many exciting flavors and colors that bloom with the spring season. the list is endless and i can think of a million things i’d like to write about. but let’s start with one today. well actually, two items: fresh garlic and artichokes. both items have just started appearing at the fruit and veggie vendors. some italians will say that it’s too early and that you shouldn’t buy them yet. i took a risk.
fresh garlic is easier to digest and more delicate in flavor that the aged garlic you can find all year. i find it has a sweet pungent flavor. its moist bulb extends from a long green stem which actually looks a lot like a leek. in fact, garlic is in the onion family. the individual cloves are not fully formed so the garlic can be chopped into random pieces. some like to eat it raw and julienne on a simple tomato pasta dish. i used it to make sauteed artichokes last night.
easy and yummy artichokes:
6 artichokes, cleaned and cut into 6 wedges each
1/8 head of fresh garlic cut into chunks or sliced fine (i left it in chunks)
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. salt
pepper (to taste)
1/8 cup parsley, chopped fine
heat oil in a deep pot with a heavy cover (i used my trusty calphalon pot. the pot needs to be wide enough so that all of the artichoke slices touch the bottom). add garlic and brown. add artichokes, salt, pepper and parsley. cover and cook for 20-25 minutes on low heat. the artichokes will cook in their own water. however, if need be, add a tablespoon of water as they cook. when they are done uncover and saute’ on high flame for a couple of minutes.