killing time between meals

where talking about what's for dinner while you're at lunch is totally acceptable


What is this? Happiness.

Luckily for me, a Home Depot hot dog was not the culinary highlight of last weekend.

This menu included boiled crab legs with drawn butter, grilled filets, baked potato, grilled artichokes, and rosemary roasted garlic purée with crusty bread. The occasion? Saturday.

I vowed to figure out this garlicky deliciousness after dinner at Fluke in RI. And I must say, I think I’ve mastered it.

Rosemary Roasted Garlic Purée
Makes 2 large servings

3 large heads of garlic
3 sprigs rosemary
Extra virgin olive oil

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Leaving the skin on, trim off the top of each head of garlic, exposing each clove. Drizzle with olive oil and rub in. You want to be sure each clove has a little oil.
  • Place one sprig of rosemary on top of each head and wrap with foil. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the cloves are very soft.
  • Unwrap each head and let cool until easy to handle. Remove the individual cloves, putting them into the bowl of a food processor. Add a dash of salt and a splash of olive oil, and pulse to purée. (If you’re in a rush, you could just mash the roasted garlic with a fork because it is super soft & creamy, but putting it in the food processor makes the garlic extra smooth & fancy.)
  • Using a spatula, remove the garlic to a plate. Pour olive oil around the mound of goodness, and sprinkle with a few rosemary leaves. Serve with warm, crusty bread.

Oh yes. This is living.

Next time, I think I will:

  • Make much, much more!
  • Try infusing the garlic with a different herb. How bad could sage garlic be?


The Art of Artichokes

One of my current obsessions is artichokes. And since I’ve been ordering them all over town, it seems I accidentally entered myself in a local artichoke-off.

Contender #1: J. Alexander’s Steamed Artichokes
Served with a rémoulade, these were nice and salty, but something was missing. It was too plain. (BTW—their site shows a photo of a grilled artichoke, but when I ordered it, the thing was just steamed. Promise. Also, there’s not a menu available online. What’s that about? Psh.)

Contender #2: City House‘s Steamed Artichokes with Crab Dip
I thought the crab dip would come on the side, but it was all right on top. The concoction of creamy dip & fresh artichoke topped with crunchy breadcrumbs was tasty, but it was a little awkward to eat. I wasn’t sure if I should pull the leaves off and dip them, or just eat the dip with a fork to get to the heart of the matter. It was too much.

Contender #3: Bricktop’s Grilled Artichokes
Grilled with butter and/or olive oil, these artichokes came with a salty-charred flavor, plus aioli and drawn butter for dipping. It was juuuuuust right! My bestie Amy (who has good taste in food and design, as you can see from her blog) and I have gone back many times simply because we are craving this.

Bricktop’s version was the clear winner, so I wanted to try and recreate it at home. I found this recipe that I tweaked ever so slightly. The result was divine! I cannot wait to make & eat these again. So simple. So delicious.

Garlicky Grilled Artichokes
Makes 4 servings

2 large artichokes, trimmed, halved & chokes removed
2 lemons
3/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Fill a large bowl with cold water, and squeeze the juice from one lemon into it. Trim the tops off the artichokes, cut them in half lengthwise, and scrape out the fuzzy choke with a spoon. Place the halves into the bowl of lemon water to keep them from turning brown.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
  • Add artichokes to boiling water, and cook for about 15 minutes. Drain and refrigerate until you are ready to grill.
  • Squeeze the remaining lemon into a bowl. Stir in the olive oil, garlic, and salt & pepper.
  • Using a brush, coat the artichokes with the garlic dip. Grill the artichokes for 5 to 10 minutes, basting with dip and turning frequently, until the tips are slightly charred.
  • Place a small cube of butter in the center of each hot artichoke half. Sprinkle artichokes and remaining dip with parsley, and serve immediately.

Here are some photos of the process. Enjoy!

Next time, I think I will:

  • Not share these with anybody.
  • Maybe look for a stuffed version that I can broil in the oven and get the same charred goodness.