How to Clean and Cook Artichokes
You’ve probably seen artichokes around the supermarket being ignored by other shoppers. They may seem intimidating but these spring vegetables are deliciously deceptive and easy to make. Let’s take a look at how you clean and clip these thistles then dive into eating them!
The first thing you need to know about an artichoke is how to choose a good one. Spend a few extra moments looking at them in the grocery store. Pick them up and search for the heaviest and firmest artichoke available. Look at the exterior for compact center leaves and an overall fresh look. Unlike other vegetables, even the “Frost-Kissed” artichokes with a white-blistered exterior can be eaten and are believed to be more flavorful. Before cooking and eating your artichokes, store them in the refrigerator. But you may not want to wait that long, so let’s check out how to prepare them.
After choosing the perfect ‘choke, you’ll need to run it under cold water to remove the dirt that may be inside the leaves. Using a soft-bristled brush, brush the leaves to help remove some of the films that makes the choke of the artichoke bitter. With a sharp, serrated knife, cut about one inch from the top of the artichoke. Trim the stem about one half inch. Try not to remove the stem completely as it is a part of the heart. For restaurant-style presentation, use kitchen shears to snip off the thorns of the petals.
For your first time eating an artichoke, we recommend going simply. Fill a pan with just enough water to cover the bottom. Bring the water to full boil on high heat. While the water is heating, tuck two tablespoons of butter and two cloves of sliced garlic into the leaves. When the water is boiling, place the artichoke into the steaming pot, preferably into a steamer insert, stem-side down. Cover the pot with the lid and steam the artichoke for approximately 20 minutes until the leaves are tender. Serve with melted butter or plain.
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