Monday, April 22, 2013

Extraordinary Steamed Artichokes

Do these green bulb, prickly leaf things scare you? I have to admit, artichokes are a bit intimidating.  My family didn't ever buy them growing up, and I wasn't quite sure how you cook them, much less how you eat them.  The unknown is a foreign land to me, one that I quickly avoid whenever possible.  Artichokes fall in that category... I know, I'm a wimp. True statement.

So, what inspired me to pick up this little guy in the produce section yesterday? For one, we make a significant effort to eat fruits and veggies that are in season and on sale.  That, in combination with prepping the hubby's simplistic, but fancy birthday dinner, helped this unique veggie hop right into my shopping cart.  It's so exquisite!

The best surprise about my artichoke experience is how easy it was to prepare! I was worried that just having a plain old steamed artichoke would be bland.  Turns out, Tyler Florence on the Food Network knows how to break out the flavor in a super easy way! We served with melted butter mixed with lemon juice, but we didn't even need it.  One artichoke was more than enough for the two of us, and we still had left overs.  I'm going to eating a lot more of these, for sure!


4 Sprigs fresh parsley
4 garlic cloves, peeled and whole
2 bay leaves
2 lemons, halved
1/4 c. white wine
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 quart chicken broth or water (I used water)
Salt and Pepper
2 whole artichokes (I just cooked one)


1. Put the parsley, garlic, bay leaves, lemons, wine, oil and broth in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Season the liquid with salt and pepper. In the meantime prepare the artichokes.

2. Wash artichokes under cold water. Using a heavy stainless steel knife, cut off the stems close to the base. Pull off the lower petals that are small and tough. Cut off the top inch of the artichoke and rub with half a lemon to preserve the green color. Alternatively, you may put the artichokes in acidulated water. If you wish, trim the thorny tips of the petals with kitchen shears.

3. Place the artichokes in the steaming liquid, bottom up. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. The artichokes are done when a knife is inserted into the base and there is no resistance.

Recipe from