Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A is for Artichoke

Last week I asked Andrew for our dinner ideas and he was full of good ones. We had things that aren't normally on my radar including artichokes. Now don't get me wrong I enjoy artichokes but had never made them. After purchasing them and stabbing myself with their thorns I decided not to wing their preparation and looked up a "how-to" in my cookbook bible:

So here it goes, artichoke preparation:
  • Wash artichokes under cold water, making sure to rinse between each leaf.
  • Pull or cut off lower petals.
  • Using a stainless steel knife, cut off the stem, close to the base of the artichoke. (Tip: The stems are edible and can be left on, if desired and eaten with the petals).
  • Slice off the top quarter of the artichoke, creating a flat top.
  • Using kitchen shears snip off the sharp tips of each petal.
  • Please cleaned artichokes, standing upright in a large soup pot.
  • Fill with water to cover chokes and and the juice of one lemon.
  • Cover and simmer at least 30 minutes, until petals release easily from the artichoke.
  • Drain artichokes upside down for a couple of minutes.
  • Serve warm with melted butter or mayonnaise
Now plain chokes were not what I was going for so I decided to grill them...hoping that would add extra flavor instead of reverting to mayo or butter.

To grill:

After boiling artichokes; preheat grill to medium. Slice each artichoke in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove the tough choke and re-season artichoke. Place each artichoke half flat side down on the grill and cook for 1 ½ minutes, until lightly charred.

Two sauce options: balsamic and citrus aoili


1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. water and 1/4 C. soy sauce
1 T minced ginger
1/4 C. olive oil

Citrus aoili

2 lemons, juiced
1 orange, juiced
3 large egg yolks
½ Tbsp. whole-grain mustard
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 c. blended oil, as needed
7 chives, chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Artichoke fun-facts...besides being fun to eat, artichokes are good for you, too! One medium-sized artichoke is a good source of iodine, vitamin C, calcium, iron, protein folate, potassium and vitamins A,B1. Plus artichokes are low in sodium and have only 40 calories...minus the condiments : )

Do you have a favorite way to prepare artichokes?

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