Here is another one of those “single use implements” from my sisterâ€™s collectionâ€¦ Artichoke plates. Yes, a plate designed for the sole purpose of eating/enjoying a boiled artichoke. The whole artichoke sits in the center of the plate, the sauce or dip is in a small section up front and the discarded/scraped leaves are lined up in a section that surrounds the artichoke. In this case, the plate is a beautiful French majolica plate, ivory to off-white in color. Because one doesnâ€™t really need to cut on it (except perhaps when one gets to the heart of the artichoke), it has a beautiful pattern embossed into the ceramic.
We were in New York when the first artichokes were hitting the markets so it was great to have them boiled, fried or however you like them. In this case, they were simply boiled and served at room temperature. Sometimes served with butter and perhaps lemon, the sauce on these plates is a blitzed vinaigrette with olive oil, sherry vinegar, lots of red onion and parsley with salt and pepper. Take a â€œleafâ€ of artichoke, dip it into the vinaigrette and scrape the minute amount of tender flesh with your front teethâ€¦yum. Now my question isâ€¦ who the heck figured out how to eat an artichoke in this manner to begin with??? Want your own artichoke plates? Hang out at estate sales or small auction houses, you may find them for a relative bargain if you have a good eyeâ€¦