This week, a commenter mentioned that she loved artichokes but didn't know how to cook them. So today, as I prepared the artichokes for dinner, I decided to take pictures along the way to hopefully demystify cooking them. If you can boil water (and you have a timer) you can do this!
You don't have to be as fussy as I am about preparing them. My mom just used to steam them without trimming, but I like 'em purty—and I don't like poking my finger tips on the sharp points. One thing not shown is these photos is my trusty Meyer lemon. As you prep/trim each artichoke you'll want to rub a cut lemon over the trimmed parts to keep them from turning funky colors.
If you like these step-by-step kind of posts, I can try to do them more, so lemme know in the comments. I can't promise to do this as well (or as beautifully) as Ree (I cook way too fast and plus how will hold my wine glass and camera at the same time?), but I will try. And please share how you cook your artichokes, too!
Edited to ad: Wow! Who knew what a hit the tutorial would be! I will do them more often! Promise!
ARTICHOKES CITYMAMA STYLE
- 4 artichokes
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, rough-chopped
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
Place your steamer basket (mine is a nifty silicone one) into a large pot which has been filled with water to reach the bottom of the steamer. If you don't have an insert don't panic, Just put an inch or two of water in the pot. Be sure to lightly salt the water and add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Place the artichokes into the steamer basket. They should stand up, but if they tip that's okay. Scatter chopped garlic over the artichokes then season with sea salt and pepper. Drizzle each artichoke with a little olive oil. The olive oil really makes the artichokes especially if you are serving them cold. Here they are starting to get steamy:
Bring chokes to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until "leaves" pull easily away. And when they are done, they will look like this (not as pretty, but soooo delicious!):
I serve one artichoke per person in my family because both Bunny and Wallie are artichoke freaks. Surprisingly, neither of them likes the heart, my absolute favorite part. (More for me!) I have vivid childhood memories of my mom cutting the thistle away from the heart so I could gobble it up, and I almost couldn't wait until she was done.
My family dips our artichokes in aioli or mayo, but you might be butter-dippers which is delicious, too.