Thursday, April 30, 2009

Recipe: Artichokes

Thanks for sending in your requests for more information about artichokes. They're one my favorite things and so easy to prepare, too. Here are a few pointers:

Shopping for Artichokes - I can't think of a time I ever bought a bad artichoke. Even the frost damaged variety are delicious. Since they're usually sold at a set price per artichoke, I look for the biggest ones available (but not bigger than a softball). You do want to avoid artichokes that look bug-eaten, there might be more insects waiting inside.

Cooking Artichokes - So easy! You can steam, barbecue or pressure cook artichokes, but I simply boil them. Fill a pan with enough water to mostly cover the artichokes, add a lemon cut into a few pieces and a dash of olive oil. Cut the artichoke stems, leaving about 2 inches and cut the very top of the artichoke off. If you're being fancy, you can cut the thorns off the outside leaves with scissors. Boil large artichokes, stem down, for about 30-45 minutes. Test if they're ready by pulling midsized leaves out with tongs and sampling.

Eating Artichokes - Don't serve artichokes with wine, the mixture creates a weird sweet flavor. Pull the finished artichokes from the water and drain. Dip the leaves in your favorite toppings - mayonnaise, vinaigrette, lemon or butter are all classics - and eat! Use a large bowl for the spent leaves. When you get to the heart, scrape out the "fur" with a spoon and eat the rest. That's the prize!

5 comments:

Jenny M said...

Thanks Emily! I was actually going to buy some on the weekend, but realized I had no idea how to pick one out at the store...

Smiling Mama said...

Yum! Can't wait to try. Thanks for the descriptive tutorial!

LPC said...

And don't forget, that "fur" is kind of prickery and feels very yucky in the throat, so do get it all out. I agree, artichokes are heaven.

vidalia said...

These are one of my fave eats. I cut off stem and a bit off the top, set on trivet in pot so bottoms dont touch bottom of pot, fill with enough water to cover 1" off artichoke and cover. I make a dip from mayo, mustard, garlic, basil and lemon juice...so good.

hyb said...

I love this way of preparing them and how much healthier and more fun it is than just chips and onion dip. Growing up in Turkey, the grocers would sell them pre-peeled only, just the fleshy middle. I can't believe I missed out on a childhood of playing with the leaves!