The Artichoke can be a pretty intimidating project to take on without a little bit of "Ice Breaking" knowledge. It is actually fairly simple and all boils down to Method and Technique. The artichoke in general varies in size and this little "blurb" will focus on the smaller baby sized. It is much simpler to prepare and the larger chokes are a bit more difficult to handle and require the removal of the choke in the center of the leaves. The most flavorful part of any artichoke is its stem portion. The inner leaves can be eaten whole with proper cooking technique and the outer leaves can be delicately sucked on removing the tiny bit of artichoke meat at the bottom of the leaf. In the format/pictures below we show a simple white wine/olive oil poached artichoke technique and then taking this product and adding it into a beautiful spring salad.
Step 1 – As you can see the Baby Artichokes are fairly small and delicate. Carefully remove the outer leaves until you reach a bright lime green color. You will see this in the pictures. Next with a small paring knife removing as little as flesh as possible trim around the stem and remove the outer dark green layer.
Step 2 – You will see a distinctive color difference on the top portion of the artichoke and you will want to cut directly on this color variance removing the top of the choke. On larger "Globe" artichokes this will expose the choke and you will want to scoop it out. But, on these artichokes it is completely edible.
Step 3 - As you are working you will want to soak the artichokes in a water bath with fresh squeezed lemon juice. This reduces greatly the discoloration of the artichoke.
Step 4 - Once all of the artichokes have been cleaned place them in a saucepot/pan and cover with regular water, small amount of salt and pepper, splash of your favorite olive oil, fresh herbs from the garden, and a few cloves of garlic. No recipe needed here, add what your taste buds are telling you. Place this over a medium heat and slowly cook for approximately 45 minutes or until stem is tender. Turn off heat and let the artichokes cool in the cooking liquid until they are able to be handled easily.
Step 5 - Remove the artichokes from the liquid and place into proper containers/sealable bags for future use.....These are so delicious and can be used as is, in salad, baked, fried, grilled, etc etc......
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