Friday, February 22, 2013

Artichokes with Lemon and Dill

To be fair though, if the goddesses hadn't been
dressing like artichokes in the first place,
 he would have never  gotten the idea.
It's almost March and soon we will see ladies with their arms full of green stalks adorned with purple thistles coming from their neighborhood markets.  It's  time to cook up some artichokes.  I had never seen or tasted so many ways to prepare artichokes untill living in Greece.  These extremely nutritious plants are native to the Mediterranean region where they are even celebrated in festivals. Yannis told me they are mentioned  in the writings of Theophrastus as far back as 300 B.C., and actually have their origin in Greek mythology. One day when Zeus was visiting his brother Posiden on the island of Zinar, he spotted a lovely girl named Cynara.  She was not afraid of him and that really pleased him, so he took her home to Olympia and made her a goddess. Well, she got homesick and would go back to Earth to visit her family.  Zeus found out about this ungodly behaviour and hurled her to the earth where she was 
transformed into the plant we know as the artichoke.  I'm quite convinced this is a true story as even the dictionary says artichokes are from the genus Cynara!  So whether you believe me or not, you really must try this traditional Greek's absolutely divine!

Artichokes with Lemon and Dill

5 green onions, chopped
4 medium red potatoes, peeled and halved
4 carrots, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter
2 Tables. flour
2 cups water
1 chicken stock cube
juice of two lemons
10-12 artichokes (cleaned bottoms)
1/2 cup fresh dill
salt and pepper

Saute the onions in the olive oil and butter; add the carrots and the potatoes, simmer for a few minutes and then add the flour, stirring till well mixed.  Add the boullion and water, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add the artichokes, dill and lemon, cover and  simmer for 1/2 hour.  Add salt and pepper and serve as a main dish, in bowls, or as a vegetable side dish; either way, the sauce will need lots of crusty bread to enjoy every drop of it!

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