It is claimed that California’s Castroville (near Monterey) is the “Artichoke Capital of the World”. So that makes me who’s a devout fan very happy. Artichoke is full of anti-oxidants and easy to make a yummy treat even without any culinary skills :).
Clip away the thorny part of the leaves.
2. Cut the top off.
3. In a large pot, put a couple inches of water, a clove of garlic, a slice of lemon, and a bay leaf (this adds wonderful flavor to the artichokes). Insert a steaming basket. Add the artichokes. Cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 25 to 45 minutes or until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off. Note: artichokes can also be cooked in a pressure cooker (about 15-20 minutes cooking time). Cooking time depends on how large the artichoke is, the larger, the longer it takes to cook.
Artichokes may be eaten cold or hot, but I think they are much better hot. They are served with a dip, either melted butter or mayonnaise. My favorite dip is mayo with a little bit of balsamic vinegar mixed in.
- Pull off outer petals, one at a time.
- Dip white fleshy end in melted butter or sauce. Tightly grip the other end of the petal. Place in mouth, dip side down, and pull through teeth to remove soft, pulpy, delicious portion of the petal. Discard remaining petal. Continue until all of the petals are removed.
- With a knife or spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part (called the “choke”) covering the artichoke heart.
The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. Cut into pieces and dip into sauce to eat.