How to eat an artichoke
Or you can just let the artichoke turn into a pretty flower.
So recently one of our friends just threw away some artichokes. They said they had never had artichokes and didn’t think you could eat anything on it. Well for years my (Matt) family has been eating artichokes on fun special occasions. Mainly when they went on sale. Now this way to eat them is not the only way, you can grill them (which I never really have tried) or cut out just the hearts and stems. The way we do it is boil them. In a large pot of boiling water, add the artichokes whole. Make sure you have enough room to spin them around and position them to get them under the water as much as possible. Boil them for about 15 to 20 minutes, just long enough that you can easily stick a fork down the end of the stalk.
So here are two of the artichokes we cooked. The one on the left has all of the hard outer leaves on. When you peel these leaves off – one by one- there is not much edible bits on them. But once the outer leaves are off, like the photo above on the right of the plate, the leaves get more and more tender and lighter in color.
The white part on the base of each leave is edible. Now don’t go biting this part off. Simply dip in butter, or even by its self, and slide it over your lower teeth and scrape what comes off with your teeth. You will learn how much pressure to use as the leaves move from being hard and “woody” to really soft and tender. As they get tender, you can almost just eat half of the leave. Any thing that is really tender is edible.
I have always just dipped these in butter, like lobster. I am sure you could use the healthy fake butter stuff. Next time I might try it with those new flavored butters with garlic and such already blended in them.
The outer leaves will look like this after you scrape them off on your teeth. Just the white inside bottom part of each leave is edible. But as you get further inside the artichoke, the leaves become pale green and maybe even cream or white color. Most of these leaves are edible and I will just bite off what ever snaps off. Be careful because the tips of these have little points on them that are not edible.
The artichoke on the right side, above, shows the pale white leaves that are really soft and good. Even the stalk of the artichoke is edible if you peel back the fibrous outside.
Once you get to the inside of the artichoke you will see these small feathery looking pieces – see above photo. They are soft and intriguing, but they don’t call it an artichoke for nothing. Those little soft pieces are the “choke”. They are not edible.
Now in the above sliced view of the artichoke. If you carefully cut out the choke with a butter knife, you can then eat the “heart”. You can see the choke which is a light pale green on the very top. You can pluck off the choke down to about the darker layer right under the choke. Once that is removed the artichoke heart is the prized piece. These are the things you see in salads and sold in jars at the store.
So now you know one way to eat those strange looking artichokes. These are fun to eat after dinner, mid day snack. You can even do this while watching your favorite sports game or at family movie night. Just be careful with the butter 😉
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