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How To Cook Fresh Artichokes

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How to Cook Fresh Artichokes

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2010-10-05 Other
5 3

Fresh whole artichokes are fun to eat--just be sure to have some receptacles around for the discarded leaves. Artichokes are not only eaten, they can also be used in many recipes and to make tea and Cynar, which is an Italian liquor. Difficulty: Easy to do

  • Servings: As many as desired
  • Prep Time: Varies
  • Cook Time: Varies with cook method
  • Total Time: Varied by method

Ingredients:

Fresh Artichokes

Directions:

Step 1 Wash artichokes in cold water.

Step 2 Cut off the top inch or so from each artichoke. If there are any leaves with thorns on their tops remaining, pull them out.

Step 3 Boil artichokes in salted water 20 to 45 minutes, until artichokes are tender.

Step 4 Alternatively, steam artichokes for 15 to 30 minutes, or until tender.

Step 5 As another option, microwave artichokes, individually wrapped in plastic, for 8 to 15 minutes.

Step 6 Drain artichokes well, upside down. Serve with melted butter to dip the leaves in, or try homemade mayonnaise or garlic mayonnaise.

Step 7 To trim and cook just the artichoke hearts and inner leaves, first fill a large mixing bowl with cold water and add the juice of one lemon.

Step 8 Remove all the tough outer leaves from an artichoke. Stop removing leaves when you get to the tender, light green ones.

Step 9 Cut about 1 to 2 inches off the top of the artichoke, then cut the artichoke into quarters. Put three quarters in the bowl of water and work with the remaining quarter.

Step 10 Use a spoon to remove the fuzzy choke and purple and white inner leaves from the center of the artichoke. Slice the artichoke quarter into as many slices as you want; put the slices in the water and proceed with another quarter.

Step 11 Sauté, braise or stew the artichoke slices as you wish.

Etiquette of Eating Artichokes:

It is both proper and polite to pluck the leaves with your fingers, leaving fork and knife aside for now. Pull off a leaf, holding it by the pointed end. Put the other end in your mouth and pull it between your teeth, scraping the length of the leaf (the edible portion of the leaves becomes greater as you get closer to the center of the artichoke). Just before you get to the very center, leaves will become almost white with purple tips. Be careful of these leaves because their purple ends are prickly. When the leaves are pulled, you will be left with the base, the heart, crowned with a fuzzy patch. You have now reached the best part of all, the very reason for eating artichokes: If you're provided with a dip such as a vinaigrette or mayonnaise, put a small part of the edible portion of the leaf in the dip and scrape with your teeth as directed above. Don't overdo it on the dip or you won't taste the artichoke.