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Tonight’s dinner goes out to my mom; the person who taught me how to cook and gave me my creativity. On the eve of her second open heart surgery, I was inspired to make the dish that started my love affair with food.

When I was a child, my after school snack wasn’t cookies. It’s wasn’t a PB&J or sliced apples. It was an artichoke. Most 6 year-olds would have scorned at the prickly green vegetable, but I – I loved it. The second I came in the door and smelled the sweet steam, I was in heaven. It would be presented in front of me like a layered crown, with two dipping sauces so I could take my time; melted butter & lemon and mayonnaise & balsamic vinegar.  My mom would leave me a bowl, and after I ran my little bottom teeth across the leaf to remove the ‘meat,’ I’d toss it away and move on to the next. It was a ritual. A messy ritual. From there on out, I fell in love with food, cooking, and gathering people at a table.
I wish my mom a successful surgery and a speedy recovery. We have many more artichokes to eat together….

Grilled Artichoke | Marinated in Lemon and Garlic | Served with a Lemon, Thyme and Truffle Yogurt Dipping Sauce.

Pair | A zippy Sauvignon Blanc like
Greywacke, New Zealand, 2010.