Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wild Things: Spruce Steamed Baby Artichokes and Spruce Mayonnaise

Rebecca at Crockpots and Cauldrons has a blog round-up or blog party on WILD THINGs each month. This month was devoted to spruce tips.....
So I was all stoked to take part, then i realized, spruce tips are a ways I did spruce needles instead.  I think the tips work better tho.  The needles are poky and stiff even when cooked or blended up.   But nonetheless, the taste is fresh, citrusy and suprisingly delightful! 
Spring is coming soon...and I found baby artichokes at the market. 

So I steamed them with spruce twigs in the water.  It gently flavored the tender baby chokes with a fresh flavor.

Then I used some more spruce needles stripped from the branches to add to a luscious bacon fat based mayonnaise. 
The steamed chokes topped with a creamy fresh mayonnaise were a perfect spring lunch!  Recipe below.

8 Baby artichokes, cleaned and trimmed.
3 Palm sized spruce twigs

Toss the cleaned and trimmed chokes in a steamer basket, and add spruce twigs to the bottom of the pan, with just enough water to cover the twigs.  Turn on medium heat and cover chokes and spruce and water and steam for 20 min.

For the Mayonnaise:
1 c bacon fat, warmed to liquid
1/2 c spruce needles or spruce tips
1-2 slices of preserved lemon
1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk
salt to taste

Whip the eggs,salt, lemon and spruce in a blender, and slowly add in bacon grease, blend until creamy.
Serve over warmed or chilled baby artichokes.


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"The mother of us all, the oldest of us all, Hard, splendid as rock, Let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth"~ Rumi ~