Techniques

How to Artichoke

I was at my local super market for something completely unrelated to this post when I ran into a couple of artichokes.  Now, this wasn’t my first rodeo with an artichoke (you can see my handy work here), but these artichokes were particularly rude.  These rabble rousers were wreaking havoc amongst the customers in the store.  Punks.  I decided to take them home against their will, trim their leafy bodies, chop off their heads and boil their insides until they were soft enough to devour.

They were asking for it, after all.

And now ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for a step-by-step guide (artichokes beware):  How to prepare a fresh artichoke.

1.   Trim off the little thorns on the end of the leaves.

2.   Slice about 3/4-inch to an inch off of the top of the artichoke.

3.   Pull off any small leaves towards the base and the stem.

4.   Cut excess stem, leaving up to an inch on the artichoke.  The stems tend to be more bitter than the rest of the artichoke.

5.   Rinse the artichokes in cold, running water.In a large pot, put a couple inches of water, a clove of garlic, a slice of lemon and a bay leaf.  Insert a steaming basket and add the artichokes.  Cover.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 25 to 45 minutes or until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off.  Cooking time depends on how large the artichoke is.

 

TO EAT AN ARTICHOKE

  1. Pull off outer petals, one at a time.
  2. Dip white fleshy end in melted butter or sauce.  Place in mouth, dip side down, and pull through teeth to remove the soft, pulpy portion of the petal.  Discard the rest.
  3.   Continue until petals are removed.
4.   With a knife or a spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part (called the “choke”) covering the artichoke heart.  The remaining bit is the heart.  Cut into pieces, drench in sauce and devour.
 
Note that I couldn’t help taking a nibble out of the heart before I took a picture.  
Ha!

 

Thanks to Simply Recipes for the tips!

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