Friday, May 2, 2014

How to Cook and Eat Fresh Artichokes

Spring is the season for fresh artichokes. For years, I was intimidated by the spiky green ball as I passed it at the store but few years ago, I decided to take my leap and see how it was to eat a fresh artichoke instead of the canned ones. Not only are fresh artichokes delicious to eat but they are fun to eat. It is an event at dinner ... they are great to talk about and they make the plate look extra unique.

Fresh Artichokes
I always thought that it was going to be a difficult and time-taking task to make steamed artichokes but it actually goes quite fast. A few snips and steam away! Some people prefer having them with a lemon oil dip but my favorite is creamy style! The lemon is so bright and flavorful you'll be amazed that you don't even need to add salt.

So when you stop at the grocery store, pick up an artichoke and try it out. Make dinner fun!

Steamed Fresh Artichokes

2 artichokes
10 peppercorns
1/2 lemon, cut in quarters
2 garlic cloves, cut in half
2 sprigs of mint (optional)

Creamy Lemon Dipping Sauce

1/4 c vegenaise
1 1/2 T lemon juice
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 t parlsey, finely chopped

1. First start by cutting the stems and the top off of your artichoke. Rinse artichokes in cold water.

2. In a pan, heat about 2 inches of water, peppercorns, lemon quarters, garlic and mint. Put artichokes face down and steam for 30-45 minutes depending on their size. They will start to be a more earthy green as they are ready. Now, you're ready to eat!

3. Pull out stem by stem and eat the inner flesh part of the stem by scraping it off with your bottom teeth.

4. When you get to the inside of the artichoke heart, called the 'choke', scrape out the fuzzy inside and discard. (I cut it in half just to show you the fuzz but you can keep it whole while eating it).

5. Enjoy the final part of your artichoke and talk about how you can't wait to do it again!

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