My mother serves it, during the winter, with melted butter. What a delicious memory. Sometimes she will prepare a rosé dressing, combining mayonnaise, ketchup, cognac and mustard. She pairs it with cold dry white wine, a combination that I will always relate to my mom's fine taste for delicate flavors.
On Sunday, miles away from my parents home, I wanted to try something different, and made this special dressing. It is the kind of multicultural fusion that pleases and provokes my palate. And the kids were also interested on trying that beautiful combination and the chocolatey color of the dressing and the sensation of eating petals of a beautiful and unusual Mediterranean flower.
Artichoke with Dark Dressing
Prepare the artichoke as you prefer, or using these simple tips here from Simply Recipes. This time I tried a different method. I first roasted them upside down in a Le Creuset pot with kosher salt and olive oil on the top and water in the bottom. It took more time than I thought - the usual 25 minutes when using the pressure cooker - and I had to finished the process on the stove top up to when the leaves were soft enough.
1 tablespoon Japanese reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 to 1 tablespoon Italian balsamic vinegar (Modena), depending on your taste for acidity
1 tablespoon Italian or Greek extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon California garlic powder (or 1 teaspoon fresh grated garlic)
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
Mix all in a small bowl at least about one hour before serving for the flavors to infuse. Use it as a dip for the petals fleshy parts and as a perfect companion for the artichoke heart.