I can’t help but to look at the marked down produce stall where the organic superstore of my area quarantine all the “going bad” fruit and veggies. I picked these artichokes up for 99 cents a bag. I think there were 4 or 5 in each bag. I couldn’t resist.
I love artichoke.
We go way back. When I was a little girl, my best friends mother would make artichoke for us for lunch. We would skip the “main course” and go straight for the tender goodness like little monsters. The wonderful meaty texture of this veggie with butter, garlic and salt dipping sauce puts me in pure bliss. Artichokes are said to be aphrodisiacs and I believe it!
You can see how these guys are turning brown. But that’s ok, we are going to cut all the outside leaves off.
Take a sharp knife and cut the tips of the artichoke off. This removes most of the poky parts with the little thorns on them. Artichokes are a perennial thistle that originated in the Mediterranean and have thorns on the tips of every leaf.
Next take your kitchen shears or scissor to cut the leaves of the artichoke off. You want to do this by pulling a leaf at the base and bending it. Slide your shears in and cut as close to the trunk of the food as possible. Continue this process until all the littlest leaves are removed and you are left with the larger leaves. Leave the rest of the flower in tact. The artichoke is technically a flower bud that has not yet bloomed.
Cut off about 1/2 inch of the stem. This artichoke had a really long stem so I cut about an inch & 1/2.
I like to “open” the flower before I cook it. I do this because I feel that it cooks more evenly. If you are planning on cooking these now would be a good time to start a pot of water to boil. The size really just depends on the quantity you are cooking.
Put all the artichoke in a pot of water and boil. These have been boiling for a little bit so they have started to change color to a dull green and yellow. Some of the brown spots are still evident from earlier since they are older produce. I intend on eating some of the leaves, and discarding most of them only freezing the hearts. So the brown didn’t bother me.
Boil the chokes until the outer leaves simply FALL off. Use a tong (and be careful of the steam it will burn you) and gently tug at a few of the leaves to see if cooking is complete.
When finished cooking, carefully place the pot with the hot water and the chokes still in it down into your sink. If you intend on eating the artichokes and serving them immediately. You will want to carefully remove the chokes with tongs or a mesh basket spoon. Place in a strainer to continue to drain. These are very hot.
Freezing: Turn on the cold water and let the cold water rinse over them until you can comfortably touch the chokes.
Hold the artichoke by the stem, and with the other hand grab or pinch the bud off.
the stem is in the left hand, the bud is in the right. If the artichoke is cooked entirely, the bud just plucks right off with out any effort. There is meat on the leaves of the artichoke bud. Dip the bud in butter and eat the lower portions of the leaves.
The stem is what is referred to as the “heart”. Now before you go and sink your teeth in there’s some hair like silks you need to remove with a spoon.
Once the hair like silk is removed eat and enjoy or freeze in a freezer bag.
(sorry I accidentally deleted the rest of the photos for this post… doh!)