Last week I found myself with an overabundance of artichokes. I forgot I’d ordered some with my CSA delivery and also picked up a nice big one at the grocery store the weekend before. Luckily artichokes keep for a bit, because it took me a while to come up with ideas of what to do with them.
I actually polled my fellow Yelpers for ideas and they had some really great ones! Two suggestions that stuck were paella and artichokes with a tzatziki dipping sauce. Instead of paella I ended up doing more of an “Arroz con Pollo” type dish without the pollo and plus artichokes instead, simmering trimmed artichoke hearts in broth with rice and tomatoes and things until the rice was cooked and the artichokes were done.
That came out pretty good, but you really have to trim the artichokes down to where there’s almost nothing left. Trimming that much really left me thinking “aww, this is kind of a waste”. But otherwise you’re spitting out bits of tough artichoke leaves…which, while it kills some time if you need to, is pretty tedious. And honestly, you don’t end up eating that much of an actual artichoke normally anyway.
Tonight I decided I’d do the artichokes with tzatziki, but also some baba ghanoush. Ironically, while both of Middle Eastern origin, they do not seem like they generally coexist in the same place. My tzatziki was more along the lines of the Turkish kind, cacik apparently (according to Wikipedia) because it was thinner and I put some mint in it, rather than the more famous Greek kind. Baba ghanoush is generally from Lebanon/Egypt. Well, they go very well together, so I’m glad I was able to unite these distantly separated friends.
With artichokes, of course, which are apparently said to have originated in Egypt. So they’re all totally meant to be friends!
Anyway, to make this, just make some tzatziki or cacik and some baba ghanoush (which are both pretty easy to make– I used sesame seeds in place of tahini and it came out fine) and dip the leaves of the boiled artichokes in each of the dips. I like them both on one leaf together best, actually. You could probably even fill de-leaved artichoke hearts with the sauces like a little dish, set some of the leaves on the side for dipping, and then serve it like that. That would look pretty darn impressive!