In the seemingly never-ending quest to expand your vegetable expertise, we’d like to introduce you to the prickly and perplexing artichoke. They might look like something out of a Doctor Who episode, but fear not; artichokes are entirely harmless and completely tasty. Also, since you have to pull each leaf off to eat it individually before you get to the heart, it’s a perfect excuse to eat garlic butter. We’ll walk you through how to choose an artichoke, and then how best to steam it.
The key to enjoying a tasty steamed artichoke is picking a good one right off the bat. Here’s what to look for:
- The artichoke should be heavy when you pick it up. The leaves should be green and packed tightly together.
- The base might have a little purple around it, and that’s okay!
- Try to avoid artichokes with split leaves or that are really brown around the edges (a little bit is okay — just eat it fast!)
Steamed artichoke and garlic butter RECIPE
- 1 artichoke
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- Wash the artichoke in cold water. Using a serrated knife, cut off the top 1/4 of the artichoke. This is where all the spikey parts are, so be careful! If you’d like, you can also trim any remaining sharp parts off the lower leaves using kitchen scissors. Trim the stem so that it’s about 1/2-inch long and the artichoke stands upright.
- Bring about 1/2 inch water to boil in a pot large enough to hold your artichoke. Once boiling, add the artichoke and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 30-40 minutes. When ready, the artichoke should deepen in color and a knife should enter the middle without resistance.
- While your artichoke is steaming, prepare the garlic butter. Place the butter in a pan until completely melted. Add the garlic and stir until aromatic.
- Serve immediately with plenty of napkins and an extra plate to put your leaf ends. To eat artichoke, pull off a leaf, dip the base into the garlic butter, and then scrape the buttered flesh off with your teeth. Do this until you get to the artichoke heart, which is covered in thin yellow and purple leaves with spiky tips.
- To eat the heart, use a spoon to scrape off the little leaves and fuzz (AKA choke) on top. The bottom portion that’s left is the heart and it’s completely edible. Cut it into pieces and use a fork to dip it into your garlic butter.
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(Photos and recipe via Melanie Burke / Brit + Co)