How to cook Artichokes step-by-step
I thought I’d do things a little differently today and give you a how-to for one of my favorite vegetables. I was about 30 the first time I cooked an artichoke. That was ‘ahem… a few years ago! 😀 However I do remember it was rather intimidating.
If you’ve never cooked an artichoke where do you start? The tips of those leaves have small spines on them. They are as hard as a rock. Here’s a quick how-to for large globe artichokes.
You’ll start by cutting off the ends.
Next slice off the top. I use a sharp serrated knife, this works really well.
Now using sharp scissors, cut the tip off each leaf. The spines are very sharp! Take your trimmed artichoke and place it in a big pot of water. Cut a lemon into several wedges and squeeze it into the water and toss them right into the pot. (The cuts on the artichokes will oxidize quickly and turn brown, the lemon will prevent this.) Make sure you have enough water to completely cover the vegetables.
Add a good amount of salt – about a palmful. Cover the pot tightly and turn your stove on high. Check occasionally and if needed, add additional water to the pot. Set your timer for 45 minutes. You can test for doneness by inserting a skewer into the base. Insert it about halfway up. If it inserts easily, it is done. If there is resistance, allow it to cook for another 5-10 minutes and test again.
Now what do you do when it is done?
Remove it from the hot water and drain it upside-down for about 10 minutes. Since it has been boiling for nearly an hour it stays very hot! Allowing it to drain and cool down makes it possible to easily handle them.
They can be served as is – but if you’ve never served an artichoke – here are a few more hints.
You’ll peel back & remove each leaf from the artichoke. You can dip the ends of the leaves in butter, mayonnaise or squeeze with fresh lemon juice. Pull it thru your teeth to remove the pulpy flesh, delicious! As your work your way around the artichoke you’ll come to the heart. I use a fork to go around the top of the leaves as pictured above. Then, take your fork and scrape off the fuzzy center (discard). What you’re left with is the heart and it’s amazing!
Artichokes can be served cold or hot – they are delicious either way. I hope I’ve taken away a bit of the mystery surrounding artichokes and you’re ready to give them a try!
Artichokes - A quick how-to
- 2 globe artichokes
- 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons salt
- Fill a large stockpot with water. Quarter the lemon and squeeze them into the water. Add the squeezed lemons to the water.
- Slice off end of artichoke and snip the spine off each leaf. Place them in the lemon water on the stove. Cover tightly and turn the burner on high.
- Check at 45 minutes for doneness by inserting a skewer into the base of the artichoke. When the skewer easily inserts about halfway into the artichoke, they are done.
- Remove them from the pot and turn them upside down to drain.
- Serve & enjoy!
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