Easy Artichokes

finished artichoke

Happy anniversary to me! It has been two years since I started this blog. Most food bloggers celebrate with a cake, but you get artichokes from me. And this might not even count as a “recipe” per se (it’s more of a “how to”) but I promise that it is super simple and very satisfying.

artichokes

Have you ever tackled an artichoke before? They seemed intimidating to me before I happened upon the instructions in this cookbook, which I have adapted here for you. Most recipes that I had seen before this looked complicated: peel away lots of leaves, trim spines off leaves, remove chokes, dip in acidulated water, blah, blah, blah…nope, you lost me. But this way of cooking artichokes is much simpler. It might be a bit more rustic, but that is just fine by me.

So here is what you need to do:

cutting artichoke stem

Step 1: Trim the stem off the bottom of the artichoke so that it is about 1-2 inches long.

lowering artichoke into pot

Step 2: Lower the artichoke into a large pot of boiling water.

artichokes simmering

You can cook as many artichokes as you want as long as they have enough space in your pot.

cover artichokes

Step 3: Put the lid on and boil for 20-30 minutes, until the stem is tender (see the next picture).

closeup of cooked stem

You can tell that your artichoke is done if one of the lower leaves pulls away from the stem easily. If it seems kind of “stuck” to the stem, just put the artichoke back into the boiling water and continue to cook for 5-10 more minutes. (Note: It is better to overcook it a bit than have it undercooked, so err on the softer side.)

finished artichoke 2

Step 4: Drain the artichoke (make sure you tip it upside down so that the water inside the leaves drains out; you can use tongs to do this). Put it on a plate. Squeeze some lemon juice over the top. Season with salt & pepper. Drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil over the top until it pools underneath a little bit.

Step 5: (not pictured, because nobody likes photos of someone eating) Tear off a leaf (start at the bottom) and scrape the soft bit at the bottom of the leaf into your mouth with your teeth. Toss out the rest of the leaf. Continue until you reach the super tiny leaves in the middle. You can eat the stem, but don’t try to eat the fluffy choke in the middle–it is called “choke” for a reason, after all.

That’s it. Five simple steps (including eating), and mostly hands off cooking. I think it is a great way to start off a meal. So here’s to another year of blogging–cheers!

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