Snacking on an artichoke is crazy. It’s weird and fun and delicious. But literally until a week ago, I had only had artichokes when dining out. I know, I know…I’m obviously an East Coaster. It’s not that I didn’t want to prepare them at home (Ok, maybe it was a little…it seems like a lot of work!), but more that every time I thought “Oh, wouldn’t it be fun to make artichokes?” they looked sad and roughed up at my grocery store. I’m not a produce snob, but if I’m gonna put energy into this spiky creature, it had better be worth it. So I always cruised by them.
Last week, the artichokes were all but glowing in the store. It was TIME.
Guess what? It’s actually pretty friggin’ easy to prepare them. I would say it could be even EASIER if you don’t cut the spiky tips off, which I totally don’t think is necessary. If you’re a functioning adult, you’re probably not going to hurt yourself on a VEGETABLE (flower? bud? aww hell, anyway…). But, you do you.
Artichokes are a good source of fiber, folate, vitamins and antioxidants. If you’ve never had them before, generally they are steamed or stuffed and you just yank off the leaves and scrape them against your teeth for the soft meaty part of the ‘choke. It’s weird, right? It’s like performance food! Then when you scrape all the leaves like a dinosaur, you are left with the flowery CHOKE part and the most tasty HEART. Scrape out and remove the choke, and then
snag the heart and savor it alone in the corner enjoy the heart with your family and friends!
My simplified process went like this, but I strongly suggest a newbie to follow some adaptation of this recipe from the Food Network.
1) Select beautiful artichoke, preferably the one calling your name
2) Hack off stem and if you are a threat to your safety, the prickly tips of the leaves (if you aren’t a threat, you don’t really need to cut these off, everyone else is lying to you). Use a kitchen knife for the stem, scissors work best for the tips.
3) Prepare spa treatment for the artichoke. I used chicken stock, white wine, garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaf, lemon, dog fur, and red pepper flakes.Get this juice simmering and plop in the choke. I read different recipes that said step up, what the heck? Someone tell me how to do that.
4) I ended up simmering for about 45 minutes because my artichoke was LARGE. I yanked off a leaf to make sure it was tender before I turned off the heat.
5) That’s literally it! Dip into oil, mayo, lemon juice…anything you please, or just eat it up with no topping, all delish!
This made a super fun appetizer that is way more healthy than traditional spinach & artichoke dip. What’s your favorite way to cook up an artichoke?