Artichokes Artichokes Artichokes

Today we are celebrating the Artichoke


Artichokes are in season, they are delicious, and they are under-appreciated in my kitchen, but not any more. 


Artichokes Are…

  • Packed with antioxidants
  • Improves liver function
  • Reduces bad cholesterol levels
  • Increases production of “good bacteria” in the stomach
  • Eases symptoms of IBS and functional dyspepsia
  • They are cheap
  • They are in season NOW!!!


How to eat an artichoke

  • Pull off the outer leaves and scrap off the meat with your teeth
  • Repeat until all of the leaves are removed, soon you will reach the choke (the choke is spiny, pointy, purple, and white)
  • Scrape out all of the choke with spoon
  • Eat the clean artichoke heart, cutting it into pieces


How to pick the best artichoke

  • Look for ugly artichokes
  • Look for pointy leaves
  • Tight artichokes are usually not as soft and meaty 
  • Pick medium artichokes, large ones can be tough


Cooking Tips

  • To check the doneness, of your artichoke, stick center with a knife, if done it should come out easily
  • To get fancy use kitchen scissors and cut off the pointed tips
  • Slice 3/4 to 1 inch off the tip of the artichoke slightly exposing the choke
  • Remove the smaller leaves towards the base and on the stem
  • Stems are usually bitter than the rest of the artichoke, but some enjoy them

How to Cook a artichoke

Boil – Boil large pot of water – fill just enough water to cover the artichoke – add lemon, bay leaves, salt, pepper – Carefully drop artichokes in water and cook for 30-45 minutes – Remove when center is tender – Drain artichokes with the stem up before serving

Steam – In a large pot add a few inches of water, 2-3 garlic cloves, lemon slices, a pinch of sea salt, pepper, and a bay leaf (this adds flavor) – Insert steamer basket into pot – add artichoke – Cover and bring to boil, reduce to a simmer – Cook for 20-45 minutes or until outer leaves can easily be pulled off

Here are a few more artichoke recipes that look yummy to me
My Roasted Artichokes

Cut steam of artichokes about on inch in, exposing choke

    With fingers gently and aggressively pry open leaves

      Stuff 2 pieces of garlic in choke

        Season with salt and pepper

          Drizzle with olive oil


            Wrap artichoke twice with heavy duty foil 

              *make sure its sealed tightly



                Bake in over for 1 hour @ 375 degrees

                  Remove from oven and carefully unwrap artichoke 

                    **watch out for the steam

                      Serve immediately while still hot


                        *serve plain, with melted butter, or mayo (try a mixture of mayo and balsamic vinegar for a twist)

                        I hope you try some of these artichoke recipes. Please share, post, or email any questions or pictures.

                        That’s all today folks
                        Enjoy Your Day
                        Blessings
                        Mary 


                        References:
                        www.homecooking.about.com
                        www.wiki.com
                        www.triumphdining.com
                        www.foodnetwork.com
                        www.simplyrecipes.com



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