|Steps 1/2: My frost-bitten artichokes, not as pretty but still delicious!|
2. But I digress...When you're home and ready to prepare the artichokes, make sure you have at least an hour. Cooking time will vary depending on the size.
3. Cut off most of the stem, or all if you prefer. If you leave some on, be sure to peel it so it will be edible after cooking. The outer bit is tough and fibrous.
4. Cut or peel off the first 2-4 rows of bottoms leaves. These have a bitter taste and are not for eating.
5. Using a sharp knife, cut off the top 2-3" of the artichoke.
6. If you want to get fancy, use scissors to trim the tops of the leaves. No more pointy ends to stab your fingers!
|Steps 3/4/5/6: Trimmed artichoke - not more pointy ends!|
8. In the water, put a bay leaf, peeled garlic clove, and a slice of lemon. This will give your 'chokes a nice flavor. If you don't have these things in your kitchen, plain water works just fine.
|Steps 7/8: My pot of water, with Bay Leaf, Garlic and Lemon.|
|Step 9: In the steamer, simmering away...|
|Step 10: The cooked artichoke, cooling and ready to eat!|
12. Not for the other important part: how to eat the darn thing! I did not take photos of the first step, but what you want to do is peel off the leaves one by one. My method is: peel, dunk, bite, discard, repeat. The outer leaves will be pretty fibrous, and the only part you want to be biting off is the fleshy bit on the bottom, where you've torn it off.
|Steps 12/13: A partially eaten artichoke. On the left is the base with the inner, softer leaves.|
|Steps 13/14: Soft leaves on the left, the "choke" on the right.|
|Steps 14/15: The edible and delicious artichoke "heart," with the choke removed and discarded.|
And that, my friends, is how you cook and eat an artichoke! I look forward to hearing from you all about how this experiment goes for you in your own kitchens!