I'm going to let you in on a little secret... Artichokes are friggin' delicious! They are packed with all kinds of nutritious goodness, but mostly loads of Vitamin C. These artichokes were "frost kissed" which is a pretty way of saying they were flash frozen to preserve them for transport. That's why they have the brown, scabby spots. They mostly go away during the steaming process. Unfortunately, these were not organic. I try to get organic as much as possible, but these were just before the season begun. Here's how to eat them.
First, get out a large stock pot and put a steamer basket inside. Fill it with water to just where it starts peeking through the steamer basket. Turn it to medium-high heat.
While that's heating up, start cutting the pointy tips off of each leaf.
The center leaves are harder to get to. Use the knife to cut the tops off. Then, cut the stem off at the base so that the artichoke can stand on a flat surface. Cut a little bit of the ugly edge of the stem off and thinly peel the stem with a vegetable peeler.
Put the stems in the bottom of the steamer. Wash the artichokes
thoroughly. Fill the tips with water and dump them out. Rub the leaves
with your hands under running water.
Next, place the artichokes in the pot and cover with the lid.
This is VERY important: set a timer for 15 minutes to refill the water in the steamer pot. You will have to refill it about every 15 minutes or you will burn the steamer basket and artichoke juice. It will stink up your artichokes and they'll be undercooked and nasty. Steam the artichokes, with the lid on, for a total of 90 minutes.
After 90 minutes of steaming and checking the water level every 15 minutes, take the artichokes and stems out with a ladle or silicone oven mitts.
How to EAT an Artichoke
Melt about 3 tbsp of butter in a little dipping bowl. Have a "discard bowl" ready on the table. DIG IN!
You can start with the stem, if you choose. You can dip the stem in butter and eat the whole stem as well. It's not as great as the rest, but still pretty good!
Start by picking off one leaf at a time, dip a the end in butter and scrape the inside of the leaf off with your teeth. The outside leaves won't have as much "meat" but, you'll get more as you get towards the center leaves.
Here are some leaves I scraped going from left to right in order of the section they came from. Once you get toward the center, you can just eat the lower half of the leaf.
Once you get towards the center, the leaves will be really thin. You can get a bunch together and just bite the ends off.
When the tips have sharp points it's about time to discard those and get to the best part!
Get out a spoon and slowly and carefully tug the "hairy" part away from the edges.
That little greenish-greyish bowl is called the "heart" and it is awesome. EAT THE WHOLE THING! Of course, you'll want to toss it into your butter bowl first or fill the heart with butter! Either way, it's delicious.