globe artichoke with vinaigrette

i will struggle to write this post. the fact that i will write it you should see it as a proof of my dedication to bloggery, despite the dearth of recent posting (i do have a life, you know).

in fact, it will be a long time before i can so much as look at a globe artichoke again. and don't mention the eggs: eggs are off the menu for a while.

basically, about two hours after i ate this and some spicy mackerel (the recipe for which you will never see for the same reason), i started being voilently sick. the kind of sick like you are when you're little and you've eaten worms from your garden or not washed your hands after playing marbles in the park. the kind of sick when you lie on the bathroom floor, because you can't make it back to the bedroom, picking mackerel out of your nose and hoping god will kill you now rather than make you suffer more. the kind of sick where you crawl to the living room to get a cushion 'cos your knees are getting sore from the bathroom floor. that kind of sick.

and you know the worst bit? i had a glass of red wine with my dinner. just the one, leftover from the week before. all night i kept throwing up this fishy red mush, as if i'd drank a whole bottle of the stuff. as vomit combinations go, mackerel and red wine is pretty disgusting.

so you see why i'm struggling with this. ironically, i'm sure the artichoke or indeed the mackerel had nothing to do with it. it would have been something i had the day before.

it takes a fair bit to put me off food (i can scrape mouldy bits off bread and don't mind eating things from the floor) but i have to confess that even just looking at the fridge makes me slightly queasy.

but when i try really hard to remember the good bit before the bad bit, i have to tell you that the artichoke is worth trying. i'm not normally that keen on fiddly food, prefering to wolf things down, but it's kinda nice to savour things sometimes.

for 2

2 large globe artichokes
1 tbs sea salt
for the vinaigrette:
1 heaped tsp dijon mustard
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 capfuls of white wine vinegar
a pinch of sea salt
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

cut the stalks off the artichokes so they can stand flat on plate. bring a large saucepan of water to boil with the salt, add the artichokes and cook for about 35 minutes. do it for 30, then check - if the leaf comes out easily when pulled, they're ready. if it falls out, it's overcooked. mine took about 35 minutes but they weren't huge.

in a small bowl, combine all the vinaigrette ingredients except oil and mix well. then slowly beat in the oil - not as slowly as you would for mayonnaise but slow enough for it to emulsify - until it's thick and creamy.

eat, leaf by leaf, sucking the succulent bit at the bottom. when you get to the core, get rid of the choke bit - it looks hairy and fibrous - and eat the heart at the bottom. the best bit.


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