8021 Clayton Road
St. Louis, MO 63117
Ph: 314-862-COOK (2665)
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Artichokes are now available in the markets at $1 apiece, so it is time to indulge in a totally delicious vegetable. As much as I love artichokes, what does one drink with them? Like the African fruit synsepalum dulcificum (though not as strong a reaction), artichokes leaves a lingering buzz in the mouth that makes liquids taste sweet. Eat a bite of artichoke, then drink water and the water tastes sweet. So crisp chardonnays are destroyed by pairing with artichokes. What to do? Champagne, Italian prosecco, or other sparkling wines are the answer. Bubbles go with anything, especially sweet food. After all, birthday cake and sparkling wine are really good together. Other foods that I think taste better with champagne than with still wine are asparagus (because of the grassy taste) and oysters (because of the salty briny taste). Use the artichokes as an excuse to pop open a bottle!

Artichoke-Potato-Shallot Ragout

  • 2 fresh artichokes
  • 6 shallots, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 new potatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper

Pare the artichokes by cutting off the top and stem. Use a sharp paring knife and carefully cut away the dark green leaves, leaving the pale green heart. Use a pitting spoon to scoop out the choke. Cut each heart into six wedges. Heat the olive oil and saute the shallots until light brown. Add the artichokes and potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock and bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.