Monday, November 15, 2010
Before I cooked my first artichoke, they fell in to the hard much easier to avoid category. But nothing could be further from the truth, they are easy to prep and just as simple to cook.
To prep the artichoke make sure you have a lemon half handy and a bowl of cold water with lemon juice in it (this stops it oxidizing and turning brown). Trim the tough outer leaves off near the stem, wiping the cut surfaces with the lemon half, then trim the stem down so it's about 2cm long (or all the way off if it's particularly thin), wipe all cuts with the lemon. Place the artichoke in the bowl of water until ready to cook.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a simmer (with a squeeze of lemon). Place the artichokes in the pot and cook for 15-30 minutes. When they're done an outer leaf should pull easily away from the base.
Now the fun part, eating! First melt some butter (seasoned with whatever you like. Garlic, anchovy, lemon etc). Then pull off a leaf and dip it in the butter and scrape the flesh off the inside of the leaf. Once you've worked your way through all of the leaves, you'll get down to the choke (soft fuzzy center of the flower) scrape it out with a spoon and discard. Then you'll be left with the soft tasty heart.