Artichokes

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Hi. I need tips on cooking artichokes. I made them for the first time last week, and while they were fine, they were kinda bland. I braised them, steaming them up first for about a half hour to get 'em all tender, then putting some oil around the bottom and cooking them to get them brown around the base. Then we pulled the leaves off and ate the tips with balsamic vinagrette. I only used a little salt, so maybe that was the problem.
Here are my questions:
1. How do you tell if artichokes are good (when you buy them)?
2. Any suggested cooking methods.
3. Once you eat all the leaves, how do you get to the heart?

eat fudge banana swirl (Nick A.), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 18:59 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'm not that very good with artichokes myself (I wouldn't know how to chose them myself for instance), but what we do here in Italy before cooking them is taking off the more external leaves until you get to the softer ones, and then leave the artichokes in water with lemon for a while. Then you can divide them in fours and cook them with potatoes (and little garlic), towards the end you can spice them with persil or even, maybe, mint leaves?

misshajim (strand), Thursday, 19 August 2004 07:44 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I've only cooked whole artichokes once, and that what a long time ago. I think I steamed them, pulled off the leaves and dipped the meaty part in melted butter. To get to the heart/bottom, I pulled off any of the remaining leaves I didn't eat and scraped the fuzzy fur off the bottom, then ate the heart/bottom.

I think a way to infuse more flavor is to tuck garlic cloves/chunks inbetween the leaves while cooking.

A fresh artichoke should be tightly closed when you buy it.

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Thursday, 19 August 2004 11:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Buy them with 2-3" of stem still on, leaves closed up tight like Vermont Girl says. Trim the stem off before cooking so they can sit fairly flat, then braise in enough liquid to cover. Use white wine with a bit of garlic or water with lemon and tarragon for the liquid to give a different flavor. They are done when the stem end is tender to a fork.

Once you've got all the leaves off, use a sharpish knife to cut around the edge of the choke (fuzzy non-edible part in mature artichokes). Lift it off the heart (base).

I like to make up a whole pot full and keep them in the fridge. They'll keep for a week or so and are good cold.

Jaq (Jaq), Saturday, 21 August 2004 17:54 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...
This weekend at the grocery, I spotted these absolutely ENORMOUS artichokes. I swear, they were nearly 8" in diameter and the stems were left to about 6". For $3 apiece, which sounded too good to be true. But they weren't labeled artichoke, they were labeled eurochokes. They were so abnormally huge, scary big really, I didn't buy any. I work in this toxic nuclear waste clean up area, so we get kinda cautious about mutants.

But has anyone else seen these things? Or eaten one?

Jaq (Jaq), Monday, 18 April 2005 23:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Never seen 'em that big. Were they still closed and tight, or starting to open?

One of the biggest regrets I have about leaving California is the 59¢ artichokes at the height of the season.

Curious George (1/6 Scale Model) (Rock Hardy), Tuesday, 19 April 2005 00:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Closed tight. Some were normal green and some were purple. I think we'll have to buy one, just to document it.

We lived in Santa Rosa (near Napa) for 4 months while I was on a project - I know what you mean about missing the cheap produce. We live in an area now that produces lots of stone fruit and berries, so we have some glorious summer months at the farmers' market.

Jaq (Jaq), Tuesday, 19 April 2005 00:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I saw purple artichokes for the first time (or at least, the first time I noticed them) the other day. What's the deal with them?

Casuistry (Chris P), Tuesday, 19 April 2005 01:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

We bought two of those purple behemoths today. Their stems had been trimmed and their label changed to artichoke. Photo with ruler for scale in the link.

Jaq (Jaq), Sunday, 24 April 2005 01:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
I bought one of those giant eurochokes for $1.99 at a place called Urban Fare in Yaletown in Vancouver, BC. It tasted incredible -- way better than the regular globe artichokes. It was green, quite perfect looking, and the leaves were very tightly closed. I didn't do this as I didn't know about this, but I have since read that you can peel the long stem and eat it as well. I cut off the tips of the leaves with scissors. I first boiles the artichoke in water and lemon juice in a large pot for 5 minutes, then took it off the heat and blasted it with cold water until it was cold enough to handle. I cut it into quarters, and then baked it in the over at 400 for about 20 miniutes. The taste was awesome! I scraped the leaves with my teeth to remove ther tasty stuff from the inside of the leaves, then I ate the heart. Eurochokes are now my favourite vegetable.

Chrissie, Thursday, 11 May 2006 21:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Eurochokes? Somebody made that name up for a joke, surely?

Matt (Matt), Thursday, 11 May 2006 23:15 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Eurochoke. Sounds like a tabloid headline writer's dream come true.

Mädchen (Madchen), Friday, 12 May 2006 14:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

They're back. Our grocery had them, 2 for $5. So enormous I wonder if 2 will fit in the stock pot simultaneously.

Jaq (Jaq), Monday, 15 May 2006 18:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

five years pass...

I nominate artichokes as

Dale, dale, dale (Abbbottt), Friday, 4 May 2012 23:22 (six years ago) Permalink

THE WORLD'S GREATEST FOOD

Dale, dale, dale (Abbbottt), Friday, 4 May 2012 23:23 (six years ago) Permalink

MOST FUN TO EAT

Dale, dale, dale (Abbbottt), Friday, 4 May 2012 23:23 (six years ago) Permalink

MOST DELICIOUS

Dale, dale, dale (Abbbottt), Friday, 4 May 2012 23:23 (six years ago) Permalink

FEELS LIKE A DECADENT TREAT EVERY TIME

Dale, dale, dale (Abbbottt), Friday, 4 May 2012 23:23 (six years ago) Permalink

TRIES TO HURT YOU

Dale, dale, dale (Abbbottt), Friday, 4 May 2012 23:23 (six years ago) Permalink

A dear friend fell into the habit of making artichokes with homemade hollandaise for dinner whenever her husband was out of town. I love her husband but man when got the heck out of town I made sure I was around for dinner!

quincie, Friday, 4 May 2012 23:26 (six years ago) Permalink

Last night for dins I had 3 tiny tennis-ball-sized artichokes for dinner and it was awesome!
I used to make my mom make them every year on my birthday.

Dale, dale, dale (Abbbottt), Friday, 4 May 2012 23:27 (six years ago) Permalink

Any vehicle for lemon-butter sauce, that is also delicious in its own right, and fun to eat, but with some risk of injury = amazing

quincie, Friday, 4 May 2012 23:32 (six years ago) Permalink

I also like that you get to have a big pile of discards when you're done, but it's a pile of beautiful green leaves, not disgusting bones.

Dale, dale, dale (Abbbottt), Friday, 4 May 2012 23:33 (six years ago) Permalink

The greatest thing in the world, when we lived in Stanton, was having artichoke plants in our back yard. (Also the lemon tree.)

improvised explosive advice (WmC), Friday, 4 May 2012 23:47 (six years ago) Permalink

I had artichokes for dinner last night. Didn't use lemon-butter sauce, but a garlic aioli with dill, basil, and lemon juice. It was 100% fantastic!

Vini Reilly Invasion (Elvis Telecom), Saturday, 5 May 2012 02:53 (six years ago) Permalink

Saw some huge ones at Whole Foods recently, maybe I'll get one. I usually mix Dijon mustard with mayo (equal parts) for the dipping sauce.

nickn, Monday, 7 May 2012 00:28 (six years ago) Permalink

I like them plain.

Dale, dale, dale (Abbbottt), Monday, 7 May 2012 01:07 (six years ago) Permalink

Cafe at work had a steak and artichoke panini special last week that I couldn't say no to. w/ chipotle mayo and provolone.

Jaq, Monday, 7 May 2012 01:22 (six years ago) Permalink


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