Yes, this is my second artichoke recipe of the season. No, this will not be the last.
As you are probably well aware, I'm kind of obsessed with artichokes. They are one of my favorite foods of all time. I'm not sure exactly why I love them so much. My mom used to make big batches of steamed artichokes when I was growing up, and when they were in season, it seemed like we always had stuffed artichokes around. I'd come home from school and immediately run to the fridge with hopes that I would find something yummy to snack on, and if that yummy thing happened to be an artichoke, well then it was a happy day.
My mom always used the same recipe, and when I started making them for myself I used my mom's recipe. It was not until the past couple of years that I started to branch out prepare them in different ways.
When we were in Rome for our honeymoon last year, it was artichoke season. Lucky me. Lucky us. There was not a single restaurant in Rome that did not have an artichoke on the menu. Some as an appetizers, some as a side, and a few as a main course. They were prepared in every which way, steamed, fried, grilled, served in salads, dissected, or whole. And we tried them all. It definitely inspired me to branch out and try different preparations.
This marinating and grilling preparation has been my absolute favorite this year. So much so that I have not stuffed or steamed a single artichoke this season ..... (yet). It is a little easier because you don't have as much prep and cook time. You just steam them lightly, toss them in a bag with some olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and lemon and when you're ready to eat them just throw them on a grill or grill pan for a few minutes. As with most things, the longer you marinate the better.
I have made these about 4-5 time in the past few weeks. I have wondered if Michael is getting sick of artichokes, I don't think it possible for me to.
With the never-ending winter we've been having here, I've been yearning for a little warm weather fun so last weekend Michael and I headed down to Cartagena, Colombia for just that.
When we were trying to figure out where to go, we were surprised to find that Jet Blue now has direct flights to Cartagena from NYC. Michael is Colombian and this was our first trip there together, and my first time to Colombia, so when we figured out that we could easily get there, there was no question. Yes. Take me there.
The old town in Cartagena is one of the most colorful and vibrant cities I have ever experienced. Being surrounded by bright beautiful colors and humidity makes me happy. We had such a great time wandering the streets, eating, drinking out of coconuts and taking tons of photos. I loved being there with Michael, hearing him reminisce about certain foods that he would eat when he lived there and experiences he had as a kid.
Since Cartagena is located on the Caribbean sea, there is no lack of fresh fish and light, tropical meals. Ceviche is big there, and we made sure we tried our fair share. So fresh, so good.
While we were eating and trying all kinds of seafood ceviche, I thought to myself, why haven't I seen a vegetable ceviche on any menu? You know what happened next.
When we got home the first thing I made was a vegetable ceviche with radishes, apples, and a lot of other tasty ingredients like avocado, red onion and lemon juice that make a typical seafood ceviche taste so good. The zesty radish flavor pairs so well with the sweetness of the apple. It's such a fun and colorful snack or appetizer. The only thing that was missing was the 80º weather.