In 1948, Marilyn Monroe was crowned California's first Artichoke Queen. Her sex symbol status seems in line with the artichoke's aphrodisiac reputation. There was a time in the 16th century when even she would have been denied the pleasure of eating the heart of an artichoke--reputed to enhance sexual power, eating this thistle family member was reserved only for men.
Today, this niche vegetable is for anyone who is willing to get their hands dirty and work for a chance to eat the meaty, tender Greek mythological flesh of a flower born from Zeus' seduction of a beautiful mortal woman. Traditionally eaten with little more than drawn butter and salt, this recipe adds a chili crisp brown butter that is addictive. If chili crisp is new to your pantry, buy two (maybe three) jars. This tangy, spicy, and best of all crunchy condiment may be heaped by the spoonful on to vegetables and meats, and stirred into soups and sauces. Grilled artichokes and chili crisp are a match made in heaven. One bite, and your tastes buds will forgive the artichoke for playing hard to get.