artichokes

Sunday at the grocery store I saw the most gorgeous artichokes on sale for $1.50 each.  It was all I could do to not buy 10 of them.  Have I mentioned that artichokes are one of my favorite things?  I know some people think they’re too fussy and too much work for too little reward, but I think that’s part of the fun of eating an artichoke.  I love the process of pulling off each leaf, dipping it in a tasty mayonnaise or vinaigrette, scraping the end with your teeth, and moving on to the next one … before finally getting to the tender, tasty heart.

Artichokes are actually really easy to cook.  They make a great afternoon snack or appetizer before a grilled summer dinner.

Wash the artichoke thoroughly – be sure and run water down into the leaves and then drain it well. Then trim the end of the stalk as close to the body of the artichoke as possible. A lot of people think you should cut down the leaves as well, but I don’t bother.

Pop the artichoke in a big pot of simmering water. It’ll float, but don’t worry about that. Just put a lid on the pot and let it simmer for 15-20 mins or until the stem end is fork tender. The leaves should pull off easily as well.

Remove the artichoke from the heat and let it drain upside down for a few minutes.

Serve with a dipping sauce – a lemony vinaigrette or a homemade mayonnaise, like I do. Pull off each leaf, dip the end of it in your sauce of choice, and then scrape the end of the leaf with your teeth. Keep doing this until you reach the heart of the artichoke. Scrape away the “choke” (the little spiny leaves left) and dip the remaining heart into your sauce and enjoy!

Nutritional value for a large artichoke: Cals 83. Carbs 18g. Fiber 13.4g. Protein 5.3g.

Find this post on Tastespotting and on Foodgawker

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