A post about roasted artichokes is comically banal following last week’s heavy hitter regarding mental illness and homelessness as it pertains to my brother, Alex.
I’d just like to say how grateful I am for the support I received in regards to that last post. It took a full, painful week to write and, with my mental illness-informed workday, I was often hammering at the keys and staring at the screen until three or four in the morning. For me, those are the worst hours. It was arduous and awful.
I often feel lonely, mentally, and trapped in my own head. My brain feels helplessly impermeable. I’m stuck inside of it hating myself and others are stuck outside of it wondering how I could feel that way about their friend, Bailey. For me to be successful in getting something so intimate and hard to capture in words out into the world, helping people feel connected to others like them, is about all I could hope for.
So, I’ll keep doing my best to take care of myself so I can take care of others. It’s not a martyrdom, but a motivation. Making someone else feel less alone alleviates my loneliness, too.
These roasted artichokes are a simple, sightly side to add to any dinner. They look sophisticated AF on a a dining room table.
4 large artichokes, stems and top 1″ removed
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1/4 c olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled
sea salt, to taste
~3 T Earth Balance butter
- Preheat oven to 425° F.
- Place artichokes stem-side down in a bowl and separate the leaves slightly with your hands.
- Drizzle artichokes with lemon juice and olive oil.
- Insert a knife blade into the center of each artichoke and (carefully) wiggle around* until you’ve created a space big enough to push in a garlic clove. Press one garlic clove into the center of each artichoke.
- Finally, generously season each artichoke with sea salt.
- Tightly wrap each artichoke twice with aluminum foil.
- Place foil-wrapped artichokes in a baking dish and bake for an hour and 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow artichokes to cool for about ten minutes before carefully removing foil. Then cool further, about another ten minutes, so you don’t burn your friends. Or enemies. Why’d you invite your enemies to dinner?
- About ten minutes before serving, melt butter over low in a saucepan before pouring into small bowls for individual dipping.
*”Wiggling a knife around” is a delicate technique I learned at Le Cordon Bleu Paris
Something I love about this recipe is not only that it’s low-maintenance to prepare, but you then get to pop it into the oven and essentially have an hour and a half to work on other items. I find timing out the preparation for a hosted dinner to be just short of rocket science. Everything should be as warm and fresh as possible, and this recipe makes it all a bit more manageable. After a while your loved ones are gonna be like “Why do we get artichokes every time we have dinner at [Bailey]’s house?” and that’s when you tell them, “Listen up assholes, this is actually my in-laws’ house. And…” (I don’t have the rest if the retort planned out yet). Then bring out the red velvet cake. Which they also always get served at your house.
If you get really into artichoke roasting, there are fancy accoutrements like this butter warmer or these artichoke servers or this artichoke plate, the latter of which I frankly don’t understand but… enjoy!
Bummed Out Bailey Rating: 8/10
Rick-the-Meat-Eater Rating: ?/10 He was in NYC and I was in Texas when I made this, but I have a feeling that, with his twelve year old palate, it’d be a solid… 1/10 for Rick.
Adapted from Simply Roasted Artichokes.
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If you or someone you know needs help right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.