This is one of the vegetables that I remember LOVING to eat when I was a child. My mom would steam them and I simply loved to pull out the leaves and dip the ends in melted butter one by one, until I reached the rich and meaty heart. It was like a little culinary adventure that could only be achieved by slowly savoring each step until the treasure was reached. I still love artichokes as much as I did when I was a kid. I usually just steam them in simmering water and dip them in melted butter just like my mom used to make. This time I wanted to try something with a bit more flavor, so I tried this recipe from Tyler Florence. It was a perfect pairing for the grilled steak we had for dinner. The plain ‘ol water is still a go-to for me, but this lemony-garlic version is delicious as well.
slightly adapted from: Tyler Florence
4 sprigs parsley
4 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 lemon, cut into slices
¼ cup white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 quart water Salt and pepper, to taste
2 whole artichokes
melted butter for dipping
Put the parsley, garlic, bay leaves, lemons, wine, oil and broth in a pot large enough to fit all of the ingredients plus the 2 artichokes side by side. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Season the liquid with salt and pepper. In the meantime prepare the artichokes.
Partially fill a medium bowl with water and squeeze a lemon into the water. Rinse the artichokes under cold water. Cut off the stems close to the base. Pull off the lower petals that are small and tough. Trim the pointed parts of the leaves with kitchen shears if desired. Cut off the top inch of the artichoke and place in the bowl of lemon water to preserve greenness.
Place the artichokes in the steaming liquid, bottom up. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. The artichokes are done when a knife is inserted into the base and there is no resistance, or when the leaves can be pulled out with no resistance.
To eat, pull of a leaves, dip the ends of the leaves in melted butter (or melted butter with some lemon zest mixed in) and scrape the meat off the tender end with your front teeth . When you reach the center cone of purple prickly leaves, remove it. This is the choke that protects the heart. Now, scrape away the thistle fuzz covering the artichoke heart. The heart is the meatiest part of the artichoke. I love to dunk this bit in butter-it’s the best part.