Saturday, April 25, 2009

How do I handle an artichoke?

There are a few easy steps to mastering this tricky thistle. Once it is cleaned up for cooking it can be steamed, boiled, grilled or fried....also with ease. Let's de-mystify the process and enjoy a whole bunch of artichokes this season!

Step one!
Cut an inch from the top of the artichoke.

Step two!
Peel the stem (if there is one).

Step three!
Peel off the two outer layers of leaves. If there are still pointy tips on any leaves after these steps, trim them with a scissor. The artichokes can be cooked (whole) at this point or keep on going...
Oh, by the way! Drop the chokes in water with a squeeze of lemon or rub lemon directly on them so they do not turn brown after cutting.

Step four!
Slice the prepped artichokes in half and scoop out the furry choke with a spoon.


Quick recipe: Steam the halved artichokes until they are tender (test an outside leaf), about 15-20 minutes. Place on a plate and drizzle with a peppery extra virgin olive oil. Serve with the following dipping sauce or vinaigrette of your choice:

Lemony Mayo
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 dashes hot sauce
1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped

Stir ingredients together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
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