My husband and I were checking out at the store last weekend when I noticed that a customer in front of us was buying a bag artichokes. We were already in the process of putting our groceries onto the conveyor belt, but I did what any reasonable artichoke lover would do. I stopped loading the groceries, shouted “Stop. Artichoke time!” to my husband by way of explanation, and took off across the store to get a bag.
Artichokes are my favorite vegetable and would probably make my top ten favorite foods list. That’s saying a lot for a vegetable since depending on my mood (sweet or savory), my list is headed by black forest whipped cream cake or king crab. Aren’t artichokes beautiful?
Often, for the two of us, Jaime and I will make two extra large artichokes, and eat them over two meals. We will each eat half an artichoke hot for dinner the evening we prepare them, and half chilled for dinner the following evening.
For artichokes two ways — hot and chilled — for two, I used:
- 2 Artichokes
- For hot, melted butter (if serving hot)
- For chilled, 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground lemon pepper, and 2 slices of lemon
Artichokes can look a bit intimidating with their thorns and choke, but they are actually pretty easy to prepare. First, I washed the artichokes with cold water. Lots of stuff can get caught up in the leaves so it is important to be thorough. I washed the artichokes under running water, then submerged them and swished them around in a bowl of water for a bit, and then rinsed them under running water again.
Second, I squeezed a half of lemon into a bowl of (clean) cold water and placed my washed artichokes in the bowl. Dipping them in the lemon water (and keeping them there when you are not trimming them helps keep them from discoloring.)
Third, I pulled off the leaves on the stem.
I placed the trimmed artichokes face down in a large microwave safe dish, added about 1 inch of water, and cooked in the microwave on high for about 12 minutes. (The artichokes are done when they are soft when pierced with a fork.)
The artichokes can be eaten hot with butter or chilled with a slice of fresh lemon, a dollop of mayonnaise, and freshly ground lemon pepper.