Artichokes with Saffron-Orange Hollandaise

Fall is without doubt my favorite season in terms of weather, beauty, and that eternal feeling of starting something new that lingers with geeky types who got excited about the new school year (yes, I was one of those).  Spring, however, is my favorite season for produce.  Asparagus, berries, and artichokes rank really high on my list of favorite foods, so March is a pretty exciting month in the produce aisle.  We recently picked up some gorgeous artichokes, and I steamed them and served them with this luxurious sauce.

When buying fresh artichokes you want to look for leaves that are still fairly tightly closed, and you want to find ones that feel heavy for their size.  This is an indication of how fresh the ‘choke is, and will make a difference in flavor and texture.  To trim and steam your artichokes use this method.  The base should be tender when you pierce it with the tip of a knife.

For the sauce I like to use the blender method, which results in a slightly thinner Hollandaise.  If you want a thicker sauce, use a traditional double boiler method.  If you are afraid of consuming undercooked egg yolks, buy eggs pasteurized in their shells.  The orange juice gives a mild sweetness to the sauce that really compliments the saffron, and a little of this goes a long way for dipping.  You could cut this recipe in half for a smaller batch.

Easy Saffron-Orange Hollandaise
Juice of half a navel orange (about a third of a cup)
pinch of salt
generous pinch of saffron threads
4 egg yolks
8 tablespoons real butter, heated until very hot to the touch

In a blender, mix the orange juice, salt, saffron, and egg yolks on high speed until well blended.  Remove the middle section of the blender cap and stream in the hot butter while the blender is running.  Let it run until the mixture is smooth and slightly frothy.  Serve immediately.  If you need to reheat this sauce, place it in a bowl over a larger bowl of very hot water, and stir until it is warmed through.

Serve this as an appetizer or as a complete meal–you can stuff the cooked artichokes with seasoned quinoa before drizzling on the sauce, and it makes a great light meal.

Thanks for reading,

-Angela

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4 Responses to Artichokes with Saffron-Orange Hollandaise

  1. Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet March 10, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    BEautiful!!

  2. Jersey Girl Cooks March 11, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

    Looks delicious! I could eat artichokes every night but have yet to make my own Hollandaise sauce.

  3. Angela March 12, 2012 at 4:33 am #

    Lisa, the blender version is so easy! You can also use light butter to cut back on the calories (and it is actually a little thicker with the light butter, for some reason).

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