When I am looking up recipes for artichokes I usually only see recipes that call for using canned or frozen artichoke hearts. But I'm here to tell you that you are missing out on the best part! Ever since I was a little girl, my dad has been making artichokes--and I think I am willing to say that they are my favorite vegetable... I think... We have been using the same recipe for years, and it really is a classic and a favorite in our house hold. Here's what you do:
Purchase several whole artichokes. With a large knife, cut the stems off. Then remove some of the outer leaves because they are too tough to enjoy. Cut a couple inches of the top off as well. This gets some of the thorns that are on the tips of the leaves and makes it a bit easier to handle. Remove the very top of the leaves (just the part with thorns). Then the artichokes are ready to be cooked. This may sound like a lot of effort, but honestly it's not that bad. After you get the hang of it, it really only takes about 5 minutes.
When they are done, remove them upside down and put them on a plate so they can drain. It should look like this:
hollandaise sauce! As a side note, artichokes are an extremely healthy vegetable, rich in fiber and protein so you can feel less guilty about dipping the leaves into butter! When the leaves start to get really thin and less meaty, cut the top off and make sure to get all the little thistle, prickly things off, and then you are left with the soft tender bottom.... the absolute BEST part. When I get to this part I do everything in my power to savor every last piece of it... I recommend cutting it into tiny pieces. Even without any sort of a dipping side it has an almost buttery flavor.
Artichokes are about to "be" in season so go out and get some WHOLE artichokes and start cooking!
What is your go-to vegetable?
3 or 4 artichokes
at least 8 cups of water
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
3-4 smashed garlic cloves
1 celery stalk broken up
a large handful of celery leaves
3-4 bay leaves
1 lemon, juice and the halves