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Artichokes.

June 20, 2011

I’ve met a substantial number of people who are intimated at the thought of cooking artichokes.

Spiny leaves? The choke? The heart?

WHAT?!

If you are one of those people, trust me, it’s not that hard!

One of the easiest ways I’ve found to cook an artichoke is to steam it.

It’s simple and it cooks in less than an hour.

Serve it with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!

To start, I filled a pot with about an inch or so of water.  To the water I added some salt and lemon juice.

Then I stuck a steamer basket inside that same pot, like so.

I put the lid on the pot and let the water heat up.

While waiting for the water to boil, I prepped my artichoke.

First I took a knife and sliced of the end and stem of the artichoke.

You just want to cut enough off of the bottom of the artichoke so that it sits flat.

[Note** The photos for the remainder of this post had to be taken indoors due to a nasty storm that reeked havoc outside.  That explains the change in quality.**]

Then I cut about a half inch or so [who’s measuring?] off the top of the artichoke.

At this point you want to rub the cut side of the artichoke with some fresh lemon juice to keep it from turning brown.

Once the water was boiling, I popped the artichoke in the pot so that it sat flat on top of the steamer basket and put the lid back on.

Depending on how big your artichoke is, depends on the cooking time.

To start, I set my timer for 30 minutes.

While the artichoke was cooking, I prepared the dipping sauce.

I chose to make bagna cauda, which is essentially butter, olive oil, garlic and anchovies.

Julia Child would be so proud.

   

I first added the butter and olive oil to a sauce pan and let it melt on a low heat.

Then I gathered my other ingredients.

I peeled and minced some garlic cloves.

   

When the butter was melted with the olive oil, I added the garlic to the pot, maintaining a low heat.

Then I drained and chopped up the a tin of anchovies.

   

I know, I know, anchovies aren’t the prettiest things to look at but they are so damn salty and tasty.

I let the garlic cook slowly in the butter and olive oil for about 10 minutes and then I added the anchovies.

The great thing about this sauce, is that you can let it hang out on lowest heat on your stove and the flavors just get better and better.

I checked my artichoke by piercing the bottom with a knife.  You know it’s done when it goes in and comes out easy.

Or you can just cheat and test a leaf for doneness.

Whatever floats your boat.

Dinner is served.

Perfect single gal dinner.

I went to town on this artichoke, stripping it of its leaves one by one until I got down the choke [the hairy part].

Just scrape away the fuzzy part until you get to the heart.

The creme de la creme of the artichoke.

The heart is the meatiest most deliciously satisfying part of an artichoke, so enjoy and savor every moment.

I may or may not have had this dinner two nights in a row.

So moral to the story?

Don’t be afraid to cook an artichoke.  It’s worth it, I promise!

Goodnight!

Vanessa 🙂

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 20, 2011 7:40 pm

    Vanessa, I love artichokes and planted 4 in my garden this spring. Will post on my blog when/if I get a harvest! 🙂

    • June 20, 2011 8:05 pm

      Me too!! Oh cool! I never thought of planting artichokes! Definitely do post about them! 🙂

  2. June 20, 2011 8:04 pm

    I’ve made it before too! It’s awesome!!

  3. June 21, 2011 11:01 am

    I just cooked artichokes for the first time a few weeks ago. I was intimidated at first, so a handy explanation like yours is perfect. They’re really tasty!

    • June 21, 2011 9:41 pm

      Aw yay, glad you enjoyed it! Also glad you love artichokes too! They are pretty darn tasty.

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