Scared of the spiky edible flower? We’ve got you covered!
Let’s face it: artichokes are quite intimidating. You can barely find them in the supermarket, and when available, you might even hesitate buying them. Why? You are simply too scared to screw up the preparation, needless to say that you have no clue what to do with them, right? So let's get to the bottom of the unknow — or the heart — of that delicious, mysterious flower.
Artichoke is a flower
You’ve heard right: Just like broccoli, cauliflower and capers, the beautiful yet alien-looking artichoke is in fact a flower from the thistle family. No wonder where the spikiness comes from!
How one cooks and eats an artichoke is not obvious from its appearance. To get to the meaty, deliciously soft and tender heart of the artichoke, quite a transformation needs to take place. But don’t get discouraged! It seems harder than it is. Once you’ve got the drill, it’s a repetitive thing the following times. Done once, learned for life, so to speak.
We’ve put together a VERY simple step-by-step guide on how to prep an artichoke
- Step 1) Slice off a couple of cm off the top.
- Step 2) Remove the small leaves at the base.
- Step 3) Peel the stem using a vegetable peeler.
- Step 4) Cut off a few cms off the stem.
Step 5) With a small scissor, cut off the tips of the leaves, then rinse in cold water and spread leaves apart with your fingers.
Step 6) Use the juice of half a lemon and drizzle on the open cuts of the artichoke and the stem. This prevents the flower to go brown. Quick browning is typical for foods with high antioxidant level — lemon juice helps in most cases :)
Step 7) In a medium sized pot, bring a few cm of water to boil. Add pepper corns, a slice of lemon and 2 garlic cloves for flavouring the water.
Step 8) When water is boiling, insert steaming basket and place artichokes inside pot. Close the lid and steam for 20–25 minutes.
Step 9) Remove artichokes from the pot when they are cooked. You can check that if the outer leaves can be easily pulled off.
How to eat an artichoke
Step 10) Now, make a dip to eat your artichoke with! Hummus goes well with artichokes, or you can simply stir up some mayo with a few splashes of balsamico. Let your taste guide you!
Step 11) Pull off an outer leaf and dip in. Place leaf in your mouth dip side down and scrape off the tender flesh with your teeth right at the spot where you pulled off the leaves. Dip it until you reach the heart of the artichoke with its fuzzy top.
Step 12) Scrape off the fuzzy top to find the soft heart — the little hair doesn’t taste well and you might choke on them ;) Slice the heart and eat it as you please - maybe make a Pasta out of it? Check our recipe here
Remember to tag your own efforts with #eatgrim and #cookinggrim on Instagram :)