October 04, 2010


The only way I've ever eaten artichokes is in dips. I wasn't even sure what they tasted like since in the dips they were mixed with cheese and/or other creamy fatty stuff. So, since my "101 Foods That Could Save Your Life" book featured artichokes, I thought it would be fun to try. One large artichoke contains only 25 calories, no fat, 170 milligrams of potassium, and is a good source of vitamin C, folate, magnesium, anti-oxidants and dietary fiber. The trick is to keep your dipping sauce low in fat too.

Artichokes are intimidating looking things. And I had to do some googling to find out exactly the best way to prepare them. It's a bit complicated but kinda of fun and definitely worth the effort.

**a little disclaimer, these artichokes are about 2 days past their prime since I was lazy and didn't have time to make them when I should have. They were much prettier when I bought them, but they still tasted good

Here's my step by step for how I made my steamed artichokes:

First, rinse well with cold water. Then with some sturdy scissors, snip off the tips of the leaves. They have kind of a prickly point to them so it's best to get rid of it. Then slice off a good chunk of the stem and about 3/4 to an inch off the top of the leaves. Here's what it looks like now.

Next, prepare a steam bath for Art. I filled my pot with about 2 inches of water then added 3 cut up cloves of garlic, some lemon juice and about 5 torn basil leaves. Bring it to a boil, cover, reduce to simmer for 25 to 40 minutes or until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off.

When it's done it's much darker green and nice and tender. And now, the fun part, dipping and eating! I made a creamy dip with mayonnaise, sour cream, dill weed, garlic powder and pepper. Here's how you eat it- Tear off a leaf. The part that comes off the artichoke has a little bit of "meat" on it. Dip that and then eat it by scraping it with your teeth. There's not a whole lot there to start with, as the the peeling progresses, there will be more edible portion to the leaf. Work your way up, until all of the petals are removed.

With a knife or spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part (sometimes called the "choke") covering the artichoke heart. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. Cut into pieces and dip into sauce to eat.

Give it a try, I think they are delicious and my son had lots of fun eating them too. The ones I bought were only 99 cents a piece!

PS: I almost forgot, the second time I made them, I took the garlic and basil from the cooking water and mashed them up into the dip. It added some good flavor!

1 comment:

Emily {Frilly Details} said...

I'll have to try them again. I steamed one a couple years ago and was so confused how to eat the prickly thing.