Steamed Artichokes

December 7th, 2011 by Erin Gennow
Artichokes and Lemons

Artichokes and Lemons

Steamed Artichokes

For a simple snack, side, appetizer, or main vegetarian dish try steamed artichokes.  Large artichokes are great as a main course; figure one per person.  Medium artichokes are great for a side dish, or share a large one for every two people.

To prep the artichoke cut about an inch or so off the top and trim any other sharp points on the leaves with some kitchen shears.  Trim the bottom the stem just by a quarter inch or so, but keep most of it, there is good tasty meat in there once cooked.

Artichokes come in various sizes and cooking times will depend on the size.    For large, softball size artichokes it will take about 45-60 minutes to steam.  Fill a large pot with a few inches of water, insert a steamer basket, and place in your artichokes.  If you wish squeeze in some lemon juice and toss the lemon halves in the pot as well for additional flavor.  Artichokes are done when you can easily pierce the base with a fork and it slides right through.

When finished serve with aioli, mayonnaise, or clarified melted butter as a dipping sauce.

To eat, start with the outer leaves and pull one off.  Dip the end of the leaf that was attached to the artichoke into the deep, then turn the leaf upside down and scrape the meat off with your teeth.

When you get to the fuzzy choke scoop it out with a spoon and toss that part.  Just below the choke is the heart—large, meaty and slightly sweet.  This is the main part of the vegetable.

As mentioned above, you can also eat the stem.  The out parts are stringy and not worth trying to chew, but if you look at a cross section of the stem you will see in the very center a tender cylinder with the same taste and texture of the heart.

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