How to Cook Artichokes

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  • 6/13/11
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  • Cooking Artichokes
    Their prickly and tough exteriors can be intimidating, but cooking and eating artichokes is easier than it looks. The delicious flavor and nutritional payoff make the effort of preparing this edible bulb well worth the effort. Artichokes are rich in magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and fiber. They carry more antioxidants than almost any other food, including broccoli, spinach and sweet potatoes and are considered useful in preventing cancer, lowering cholesterol and promoting heart health. The rich flavor of artichokes complements a number of different foods. Choose heavy, compact, green artichokes with thick, tightly closed leaves. Avoid artichokes that are slightly purple or beginning to bud. Brown patches on leaves indicate frost damage and should not harm flavor. For optimum taste and maximum retention of nutrients, cook your artichokes by steaming.

    1. Assemble these items:

    • Artichokes
    • Lemon slice
    • Garlic clove
    • Sharp knife
    • Kitchen shears
    • Steaming basket
    • Colander
    • Large pot

    2. Wash each artichoke under cold water, rinsing carefully between the leaves to remove any dirt.

    3. Cut off the top of the artichoke with a sharp knife, and remove the sharp tips of the leaves with kitchen shears.

    4. Pull off smaller leaves on the base and stem. Cut and discard the stem.

    5. Add two inches of water, a slice of lemon and a clove of garlic to a large pot. Insert a steaming basket. Remember to check the water level during cooking to ensure your pot doesn’t run dry.

    6. Place the artichokes stem-side down in the steaming basket, and bring water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 to 45 minutes. The artichokes are done when a fork easily pierces the center, and the outer leaves peel off without difficulty. Larger artichokes require more steaming time.

    7. Drain artichokes upside-down in a colander.

    Eating artichokes

    1. Eat artichokes hot or cold with melted butter or mayonnaise.

    2. Remove the leaves one at a time, and dip the white end in selected sauce.

    3. Place the leaf tightly between your teeth and pull gently, eating the pulpy flavorful underside of the leaf and discarding the fibrous remainder.

    4. Use a spoon to remove the fuzzy “choke” covering the heart of the artichoke. Discard the choke, and cut the heart into pieces. Dip into melted butter or mayonnaise, and enjoy the most delicious part of this healthy vegetable.

    Questions:

    1.  How do you cook artichokes?

    Image Credit:  swanksalot
    Written By: Shannon R
     
     
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