Preparing and eating artichokes

Okay, this is not at all forest epicure or ecologically themed, but I wondered how to go about preparing artichokes and have just embraced the process this year.

Thought I’d share.  Enjoy!

nice-artichokes

Nice artichokes.  Clean, dense tips, tight around centre.

cut-stem-leaving-at-least-one-inch-below-petal-base

Cut off base of stem leaving at least one inch from flower base.

pull-off-lower-petals

Pull off lower petals accordingly.

Cut petal tips.jpg

Cut off petal tips.

finished-cutting-prep

Cut off dense flower tips with a sharp knife.

Steaming water.jpg

Get steaming water ready and up to a boil in a very large pot with a tight-fitting lid, a steaming tray, a slice of lemon, a bay leaf and a clove of garlic.

Rinse outside thoughroughly tips down.jpg

Rinse outside well, flower tips down to keep inside of flower clean.

rinse-through-the-petals

Rinse the inside of the flower and stretch the petals open a bit.

place-in-steamer-tips-down

Place in steamer once water is boiling, tips down.  Put on the lid.

dip-ingredients

Start to make the dip.  Mayonnaise (Olive oil), Balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard.

add-salt-and-pepper-to-dip

Add salt and pepper to dip.  I add salt in a nice thin layer on the top after blending well.

Done steaming.jpg

Artichokes should be done after steaming for 15 minutes, or until the lower petals pull off easily and flesh can be easily stripped from the petal base with your teeth.

Scooping hairs from heart.jpg

I forgot to take photos of the eating process because I was too busy eating.

Eat the artichoke by pulling each petal off the flower, dipping it, and stripping the flesh off of the petal with your teeth.  As you get closer to the centre of the flower, you should be able to eat more of the petal, closer to the tip.

This is the end of the meal in this photo.  This here is the heart.  Sometimes the hairs above the heart are too hard and prickly to eat, so scoop them out where they meet the meat of the stem.  These particular artichoke centre hairs were soft so we ate them.  You can eat the whole heart of the ‘handle’ (stem) too.  The ‘heart’ is the base of the flower, it looks like a bowl, leading into the stem.  It is very sweet and rich.

May the forest be with you.

 


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