Cherry & Tomato Basil Toast
This is a little bit of a non-recipe recipe, but it was so bright and summery, I had to share.
This was a new endeavor for us! We have eaten artichokes many, many times but never cooked one ourselves. I also usually end up eating artichoke hearts instead of the leaves.
It made the perfect snack-y dinner – you know how you have those sometimes? We were just back from an epic Timbers win, we’d had a big lunch and we didn’t feel the need for a large dinner. We ended up with a baguette, a little fromage fort to spread on it, and this.
I love that kind of dinner. Sometimes it takes the form of nachos. Sometimes it’s leftovers. Sometimes it’s an amalgam of things. Dave calls them Frankenstein dinners.
If there’s one thing you’ll learn while preparing these, it’s why those little jars of artichoke hearts are as expensive as they are – it’s because they are just the inside of the whole vegetable, and they are only about 10 percent of the volume of the thing. I have to wonder what they are doing with all of the meat from the leaves for all of those artichoke hearts in jars, because it is delicious!
The only thing I would note is that it took quite a while to cook – longer than many of the recipes I consulted.
You will need:
In a large pot or Dutch oven, place the water, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, bay leaves, garlic and herbs. Season with salt and pepper, and then bring to a simmer.
While it’s heating up, trim the artichoke by cutting off the top 1/2-inch or so of the entire artichoke, and cutting off the stem so that the bottom of the artichoke has a flat space on it. Use kitchen shears to cut off the sharp tips of all of the leaves. Place it upside down directly in the steaming liquid. Cover and steam for about 45 minutes.
Near the end of the steam time, start a saucepan simmering with 1 or 2 inches of water in it. In a heat-proof bowl, vigorously whisk the egg yolks and the 1 Tbsp. lemon juice together. Set the bowl over the simmering water and begin to slowly heat the egg mixture. Add the pats of butter one at a time, and whisk until each one melts in. When one has melted, you can add another. By the time you add them all, the sauce should be warm. (If not, keep heating for a bit). Season with the 1/4 tsp. paprika.
When the artichoke is done, pull off the leaves and dip in the hollandaise sauce. Use your teeth to scrape off the meat along the inside of the leaves. Eventually, you will get down to some purple-ish leaves that are not edible at all. Keep pulling them off, and eventually you will encounter the heart, which will have some yellow fuzz-ish stuff on it. Remove all of the fuzz, and enjoy the heart