We love, love, love artichokes. So we can’t tell you how pissed we were when we first encountered the shaved artichoke appetizer. Artichokes are expensive and difficult to prepare. They must be carefully washed and trimmed, and then steamed in acidualted water, or baked in a braise for a good long time. Whether full size or baby, the creamy green artichoke heart is the essence of the vegetable’s goodness, like a diamond lurking in tons of sludge.
A couple years ago, some wise-ass chef (Please tell us his name, so we can trumpet his infamy to the skies!) decided to lazily repackage the artichoke, by not cooking it at all, and cutting up the leaves to make a crude slaw, probably keeping the heart for himself. The idea spread like wildfire, and now you can find it on many bistro menus, designated only as “baby artichoke.” What a fraud!