Taking the Fear out of Artichokes
Posted by goodcookbecky on September 12, 2010
For quite a few years I avoided making artichokes myself. I didn’t know what to do with them. They seemed prickly and uninviting! When one of my daughters was born I had a friend visit from Fresno to meet the new baby and she showed me how to make artichokes. They are too good not to eat! Fresh ones are so much better than the ones in the can and really don’t take much effort to make.
Here is a quick guideline for those of you who also fear the “choke”.
Fill a large pot with about 1 inch of water. Cut the end of the stem of the artichoke and wash it. Remove some of the very outer leaves, if you don’t like the sharp ends of the leaf trim them with kitchen shears, or use caution when you handle them. Trim the leaves that are attached to the stem and clean the stem up a little scraping the outside layer with a knife. Season the water with fresh lemon juice and garlic seasoning or oregano and a drizzle of olive oil. Place the artichoke(s) in the water. Heat to a boil, place a tight fitting lid on the pot and reduce the heat. Cook the artichokes at a simmer for around 25 minutes. To check if they are done tug at a leaf near the base of the artichoke it it easily comes off the artichoke is cooked enough to eat. Remove the artichokes with some tongs and let them drip dry a little before you remove them to a plate. Many people eat the artichoke with butter or my favorite: mayonnaise. Do what you like. There are plenty of recipes out there for dipping sauces, or pasta recipes that use cooked artichokes. The ideas are limitless.
To eat the artichoke. Pull away the larger outer leaves, dip the base of the leaf into your dipping sauce and bite down on the leaf, pulling the leaf out of your mouth and scraping the artichoke flesh. Repeat until you have the purplish tender leaves near the choke. At this point get a spoon and gently remove the leaves and choke and dispose of them, they are not edible. The artichoke bottoms (and stem) are really good. Cut them into smaller portions and dip away.
Here are some pictures to help with the process (I am sorry for the poor quality of pictures, it was night and I was hungry!)