Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Consider the artichoke

A strange creature, this green handful; both sceptre and orb, torch and weapon. A soft-pricked beast with thick stalk.

First, snip the points and tips. Steam for one hour. Pull the leaves. Each is a bite to dip in butter and lemon; each a mouthful barely tasted. Eventually, you’ll reveal the choke: a curious plug of fibre, as though the thing is furred on the inside. Pull this away, too.
What you have left over is the heart. Take a bite. It tastes of an empty grass field, a day that won’t rain, a lover that won’t meet your eye.


Jo said...

Ack. Evil blogger ate my sauce recipe. I'll copy this time.

I love artichokes so. My father always grew them.

Will you try something for me? Maybe you're a buitter purist, but this might convert you.

COok lots of garlic in lots of butter. Add herbs - basil, oregano, whatever you have, mixed herbs, parsley etc.

Add wine, red preferably but white's ok, and boil off the alcohol.

I love it so much I could almost drink it, but it's great for the dipping...

Erobintica said...

You're familiar with Scottish poet Robin Robertson's poem "Artichoke" I hope. If not, here it is. He read that poem at the Dodge Poetry Festival a couple of years ago and I ran during the break and bought the book it was in to get it signed. *Swoon* ;-)

We love artichokes. Usually just melted butter, but sometimes fancy garlic butter or aioli.

By the way - this is lovely Nikki. Makes me want artichoke - maybe tonight.

Alana said...

Great last line!

Nikki Magennis said...

Thanks, all. Jo, I'll definitely try that, sounds lovely!

Robin, thanks for the link, I'll go and read that now.