Artichokes are one of the most labor intensive food to eat, but they yield a delightful taste, that makes all the work worth it! I tried my first artichoke eight or nine years ago, and it continues to be a favorite!
Now, I understand that artichokes are scary looking…and often quite expensive! I found these two beautiful artichokes on sale at Publix today, and decided that I must make them for dinner (and one for lunch tomorrow!). In order to demystify the experience of cooking an artichoke, I became an artichoke paparazzi. Here is Jenni’s step by step picture guide to cooking the perfect artichoke!
6 or so cloves of garlic
First, you need a cutting board and a very very sharp knife. Shout out to my ancient best friend Elizabeth for gifting me with sharp knives this christmas! (ancient in that we have known eachother for over 21 years…not because she is old)
Lay the artichoke on the cutting board
And chop off the top
Then survey the bottom for small leaves that do not seem to add to the integrity of the artichoke
And get rid of them. Then, using a kitchen scissor, cut off the tops of each leaf. You do not want the pointy pieces on the artichoke!
As you can see, the right hand side side is nicely trimmed…
Your next step is to make sure that they fit into a pot snuggly…chop off part of the stem to help them stand properly
Taking the artichokes one at a time, open the leaves and place garlic in them. I aim for a tiny piece of garlic in each leaf!
Once both are filled with garlic, place back in the pot and generously sprinkle parsley and pepper over the artichokes. I also use two tbs of olive oil per artichoke.
Finally, add water to the pot, up to the bottom leaves.
Place on the stove, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover (while vented) and wait. Mine took about 40 minutes to cook. To test, uncover, pry off a leaf (gently rinse it as it will be very hot!) and glide the tender side of the aritchoke leaf against your teeth. If it comes off clean, and soft (and tastes awesome!) then your artichokes are done! If it is rough, and not quite flavorful, they are not ready!
Finished product should look like this:
To eat: take off a leaf at a time.
Bite lightly towards the middle of the leaf, and slide across your bottom row of teeth. This gets the inner ‘meat’ of the leaf. As mentioned earlier, this is quite labor intensive!
When you get to the part that looks like hair,
gently scoop out with a spoon
and then eat the bottom portion.
The hair is the ‘choke’ the bottom part underneath is the ‘heart’ and the best part!
This meal is well worth the work and wait. Vegan, healthy, and a good meal to share!!