My husband always used to say that "artichokes are the most pointless vegetable on the planet." Which is a huge contradiction for a two reasons. One, they are litterally covered with points on the end of each leaf, and two, they are absolutely delicious and even though they take some work to get into, they're one of the only things I'll exhibit any kind of patience on.
Artichokes are classified as a vegetable even though they are the immature flower bud of a thistle. The plant is a member of the aster family, and the bud is harvested before it blossoms. If you allow an artichoke to live its full life cycle you will see a vibrant purple (the heart) center once in full bloom.
Like most produce, choose artichokes that feel heavy when you pick them up. If they feel light, they're probably a bit dried out and not as meaty as they should be.
If you squeeze the artichoke, the leaves should "squeak". Also look for artichokes that have little leaf separation.
Frost-Kissed is okay! They may not look as pretty, but some prefer them this way.
It is always best to use produce in the same day of purchase but this isn't always reality. So...to store, slice a small part off of the stem, sprinkle with cold water and place into a plastic bag in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
1. With kitchen shears cut off the tops of the stems. This makes them easier to handle.
2. Slice about 3/4 inch to an inch off the tip of the artichoke, remove excess stem, and remove the first two sets of small bottom leaves.
3. Place in a large pot with a steamer basket and about an inch of water in the bottom. Add aromatics like lemon, herbs and garlic!
4. Cover and steam for 25 - 35 minutes. The artichoke should be tender when pierced with a knife. Serve and enjoy!
Below are some great sauce to accompany your delicious steamed artichokes. All you need is a a bowl to mix your ingredients in!
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, grated
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 chipotle pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper