Artichokes Pan Seared with Pesto

Artichokes Pan Seared -A Stack of Dishes

Hey! I’ve got a secret, and the best part of it is that it’s incredibly delicious.

Here is my secret, I will admit it. I’m on a diet. Shocking right? New Year, new me! Please allow me to back up and say that every ounce that I gained this past Summer and Fall were completely worth it. Completely. It was a wonderful time of fantastic food, even more delicious wine, shared with great friends. I enjoyed the crime- now I will do my time- though so far my plan has been enjoyable and soul satisfying.

Cut Artichokes before Searing- A Stack of Dishes

For most of my young life dieting initiated a knee jerk reaction to stock up on cottage cheese and don a heavy cloak of sadness. ‘Cause it’s supposed to suck, right? ‘Cause that’s the penance, right? Well, sorry folks, I just can’t buy into that anymore. I’m cottage cheesed out!

As a nutritionist I cannot get behind low carb, or Paleo (people PLEEZE stop!), or any other whackadoodle plan, I need to eat real food and feel like a real human. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done it. I was all in on the Snack Wells bandwagon. In fact, I think there is a still a fine layer of the chocolate cookies remaining on my upper thighs. If that experience taught me anything, it’s that eating unreal food, and eating unsatisfying food, feels so wrong that it will never be done again. After all, I didn’t gain this weight cause I liked to each just anything. I plumped on artisinal cheese, gorgeous grilled meats and funky Burgundies. The lifestyle I was born to live!

Artichokes Pan Seared- A Stack of Dishes

So this was lunch, or rather part of it. Simple pan steamed and seared artichokes with homemade pesto and lemony yogurt. Needless to say they were amazing. Super easy to make too. The pesto was on my list to prepare. It’s another little secret of mine. It’s my way of getting a little bit of summer into my gray winter day. The smell of basil is just so good for the soul, and a good base for any last minute seasonings of fish, chicken, or as a base for dressings. Magical.

I make mine with olive oil and a splash of vinegar. No cheese or nuts- because, as you know- diet people, but I prefer it this way. I can always enhance the base sauce with a splash of red pepper, add more herbs and garlic for a chimmichurri, or just use it in place of mayo on a sandwich.

Artichokes Pan Seared with Lemony Yogurt and Pesto- A Stack of Dishes

So here’s how it went- Half the artichoke. Using a spoon scoop out the hairy chokes and discard. Warm a sautee pan over medium heat, spray the pan with olive oil and sear the artichokes. After 2 mins add about a half a cup of water and cover. Allow the batch to steam and cook until a knife pierces the thickest part easily. About 7-9 minutes. Remove the lid and cook off the water, then continue to cook for an addition minute or three to get a good sear on the flesh. Stir some Greek yogurt with some lemon zest and swirl with pest on a plate and eat up!