Brussel Sprouts and Artichoke with Green Olive Dip
OK— this is not something for everyone, however, I like it so much that I wanted to share before the holidays. This is a nice hors d’oeuvres that’s healthy and tasty. The reason it’s not for everyone is because it consists of Brussel sprouts and olives. Those two are not on everyone’s favorite list. But, they happen to be within my best loved list. Hope you might see my point.
1 large artichoke—Cook it your way or mine
As many Brussel Sprouts as you believe you may need
Olive Oil—3 Tblsp. for the roasting of perhaps one pound of Brussel Sprouts
Lemmon Juice—to taste
For the Dip:
1/2 C. chopped parsley
5 Tblsp. olive oil
2 Tblsp. sliced green olives with pimentos (you can buy a jar of them)
1 Tblsp. drained capers
1 Tblsp. lemon juice
1/2 Tsp. Dijon mustard or Dijon Poupon with horseraddish
1/8 Tsp. salt
To Roast Brussel Sprouts:
Pre-heat your oven to 400-425 degrees.
Wash and split the sprouts in 1/2 length wise
Mix 3 Tblsp. olive oil with some S&P and a squirt of lemon juice in a bowl large enough to generously coat the sprouts.
Line a high sided baking pan with parchment paper and place the sprouts cut side down in the pan, as many near the outer edge as possible without crowding. Place in oven for 15 minutes. No need to turn them over. Test them for doneness and be aware that they will be very brown with some burnt edges after 12 minutes or so. Don’t worry about the burnt edges—that’s part of the roasting veggies scenario and actually adds extra to the flavor.
With the artichoke, I cut the individual leaf ends off so that the thorns are removed; cut both ends (the stem close to the choke and also the very top off about 1/2 inch) and wash. I then place the artichoke, bottom up, in a steamer placed in a tall pot or just in the pot itself, with water that goes about half way up the artichoke. In the water I add a dash of olive oil, a bay leaf, a garlic clove and a squirt of my favorite vinegar or lemon juice. You can also add fresh tarragon or thyme.
In CA I lived nearby where these edible thistles grew in beautiful fields. In fact I had several plants in my very own yard so I garnered very fresh chokes that barely needed to be cooked at all. However, here, transported, it usually takes a bit longer. I start watching the doneness at 20 minutes because overcooking an artichoke can create a mushy one and under cooking can create a very hard biting one. As well, I’ve found that the smell can tell you when they are done. Cover the pot when cooking and steam it at least 15 to 20 minutes if truly fresh. They are usually done when a leaf can be removed easily but make sure to taste. A well traveled choke can take as long as 45 minutes to cook, however, if longer than that you usually have procured a very old choke.
Frankly, I like to eat my artichoke plain without any butter, olive oil or mayonnaise. But if you so insist, a very simple combination of olive oil or melted butter with a dash of minced garlic, lemon juice and S&P will be perfect. One more combination that I make and everyone loves is half or more cup of mayonnaise with a dash of curry powder in it. Well, use your imagination. That’s what cooking and eating is all about, isn’t it?
For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.
Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.