In the part of the world where I used to live there is no artichoke. I never knew what Artichoke is until I came to America. I saw it at the farmers market and was intrigued by it. I have no clue how to eat it until I saw it on the food channel. The host of the cooking show was showing how to prepare the artichoke. He simply boiled them and eats it with a dip and out of curiosity I went and bought one too. I did the same and I was hooked.
Artichokes are not the most inviting of all vegetables. The spiny leaf tips prick your fingers and the downy interior choke can literally make you gag and cough if swallowed it. But once you work past all that, artichoke hearts are one of the most delicious, tender, and even beautiful vegetables around!
Artichoke comes in many sizes. If you like to eat the petal and heart it is better to get the large ones. Personally I prefer the smaller ones. Preparing it can be tedious that is why I will usually get the ready clean frozen ones from Trader Joe’s. On our way back from Monterey Bay, CA we stop by the Artichoke farm. I can’t help myself and bought a dozen of the small ones for just $1.00. It took me nearly half an hour just to clean them. I took some pictures of how to clean the small artichoke. For more information on Artichoke you can read it here and on how to eat the large artichoke you can refer to it here .
Snap off all the tough outer leaves. It's easiest to use your fingers for this step. Just work around the artichoke, snapping off the outermost leaves, until you reach the leaves that are almost completely yellow and feel softer than the outer ones.
Cut off the top inch or so of the artichoke. This should take off all the pointy ends and any remaining green, leaving behind only yellow leaves. Also using a paring knife to trim off the green outer skin around the base of the artichoke, including the stem.
When you're finished, soak the artichoke in a bowl of lemon-water while you prepare the rest of your artichokes. The water will keep the artichokes from browning too quickly.
1 pound artichoke hearts
salt and pepper to taste
some olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Some store bought ranch dressing for dipping
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the baking sheet with some aluminum foil.
2. Spread the artichokes onto a baking sheet, in a single layer, sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Roast it for 25-30 minutes or until the artichokes are tender. Remove from oven and sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese.
3. Serve with dipping sauce of your choice.