Tricky Little Artichoke



I had to blog about these bad boys. I’ll tell you why, my kids beg – B.E.G. – me to buy artichokes. Rub especially. He sees them in the midst of the broccoli and carrots and turns to me with pleading, large, sky-blue eyes. I give in maybe once every three months when they are full priced. When they come on sale – we go bonkers.

There are plenty of people who have never tried an artichoke. My husband was one of them. The first time I brought one home he looked at me with stormy green eyes and told me I was crazy if I thought HE was going to eat a weed. “Suit yourself.” More for me. Right? Right. As I dipped the petals in melted butter and made little ‘yummy’ noises. My kids and my husband wanted to know what was so good. I allowed them a small taste each, but pretty much hoarded the rest. That was all it took. The next time I had to buy enough artichokes to feed the whole family.

Here’s what you do:

Prepare the artichoke by cutting the stem to about 1 inch and cutting off the top of the flower. You can also use kitchen sheers to trim each petal. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.

Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. You can add a pinch of salt if you like. I don’t like. I don’t think they need it, but you might light it. Put the artichokes in the boiling water up-side-down. Reduce heat to medium-low and boil for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your artichoke. If I can insert a fork into the stem easily I know they are done. Drain the water and allow artichokes to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

While you’re waiting, melt a half a cube of butter in the microwave. You can add garlic. I do like to do this on occasion. But for the most part we just use plain butter.

To eat the artichoke. Peal off the first layer of petals and just get rid of them. There isn’t enough ‘meat’ on those petals to really get a good taste and if you don’t like the first few bites you’re not going to keep eating. Now, peal off a petal, dip the base of the petal in the butter and, using your teeth, scrape the meat off the petal. (The meat is the light colored part at the bottom.) Put the petal in a discard bowl. (I always have a huge one in the middle of the table.) Pull off the next petal and repeat until you get to the heart.

That’s the purplish part in the center. You scrape off all the purple stuff and the hairy looking stuff. Trim off the dark green and all your left with is meat.  This is the best part. Dip in in the butter and prepare to make yummy sounds.

Really for something so easy to make the reward is huge.