I received 5 smallish artichokes in our CSA this past week, so I was really excited when Kim at Affairs of Living selected this spiky veggie for this week’s Blogger Secret Ingredient. That is until I realized I had no idea what to do with these things.
I took the easy route out, and followed the Ocean Mist Instructions for preparing and steaming them. A word of advice – they say you “can” put the artichokes in a lemon bath to keep them from browning. I assumed that since I was cooking them right away, this would be unnecessary. Oh how wrong I was. I got grey/brown little artichokes. Still tasty, but not so pretty.
I consulted another artichoke specialist, California (yeah, I think everyone in the state knows what to do with these things), for some ideas on what to serve them with. I opted to use their Curry Dip as a dressing, sliced the little artichokes in half and served it all in a jumbo salad. As I type this, my stomach is so packed with veggies that it is about to explode.
To make your own salad, follow the Ocean Mist Instructions (I did such a horrible job, no need to take pictures, their directions are much better), toss in whatever veggies you like (I think you all know how to make a salad, right?), and if you want a full meal, I think the artichokes and dressing go well with chickpeas, tempeh, or chicken.
I call the dressing “cheater’s” because it uses a curry spice blend (found in most stores), margarine (sub olive oil if you prefer), milk alternative, and mayo. Not really a from scratch recipe, but quick, easy, flavorful, and good for those creamy dressing cravings.
Cheater’s Creamy Curry Dressing (or Dip)
I adapted this recipe ever so slightly from the California Artichoke Advisory Board. If making a dip, start with the lesser amount of curry and add more to taste. I used the higher amount for dressing and it was just right for my tastes.
- 1/4 Cup Regular or Vegan Mayonnaise (I used Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise (love that stuff!))
- 2 Teaspoons Dairy-Free Margarine (I used Soy-Free Earth Balance)
- 1 Teaspoon Curry Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Milk Alternative* (omit for dip)
- Pinch Salt
- Pepper (optional)
Place the mayo in a small bowl. Or, if you are using up the rest of your mayo, simply make the dressing right in it (works great for storage too!) …
Melt the margarine in a small pan. Add the curry powder, and bubble gently for a minute or two over low heat to eliminate any bitterness from the curry powder.
Whisk in the milk alternative, and add the mixture to the mayo.
Whisk in a pinch or two of salt, and pepper to taste if desired.
It will thicken slightly once chilled, but feel free to increase or decrease the amount of milk alternative for your desired consistency.
* Usually I would recommend unsweetened coconut milk beverage, rice milk, or soy milk for this flavor blend. But all I had on hand was plain unsweetened almond milk, and it actually worked quite well.
Note: If you like a little more zip to your dressing, feel free to squeeze in a little lemon to taste.