If you’re like me, and did not grow up in an area where fresh artichokes are plentiful, you may have felt a little intimidated by them. Maybe you’ve seen them in the store, but not had the slightest idea how to prepare them. If you’re like me, I mean. LOL Well, now I am fortunate enough to live here, where artichokes are at the peak of their freshness, so I asked my local fruit vendor to clue me in. Here’s what she said to do with them:
First, wash them thoroughly under cold running water.
Then get a pot of water ready, add a bit of salt and the juice from 1 lemon.
Now, using a sharp chef’s knife, cut approximately an inch from the top.
The artichoke should look something like this after cutting:
You’ll need to rub the cut bits with a lemon to prevent them from oxidizing (turning black).
After you’ve lemoned (that’s not a word, is it? haha) them up, use a kitchen shears to remove any thorned edges.
Place the artichokes in the prepared pot of lemon and salt water.
Bring to a boil, then cover and lower heat to medium low and cook for about 20 minutes (depending on the size…for larger artichokes, cook longer and vice versa).
While the artichokes are cooking, prepare the lemon butter dipping sauce.
3 tablespoons butter, melted
juice from 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons minced parsley
salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Whisk all together and use to dip artichoke leaves.
To eat the leaves, tear each one off, dip in sauce, and then bite down on the leaf, pulling the leaf through your teeth, to remove the softer flesh.
Discard the tough outer skin of the artichoke after removing the tender part.
I served the artichokes with a simple pan seared pork chop (just seasoned with salt, cracked black pepper and a hint of garlic, then garnished with chopped parsley) and a baked potato. Deliciously springy.