Artichokes

Artichokes were something I had as a child.

Then, several years passed in which I did not have any artichokes.

And during that time, I started to wonder if they were really as good as I remembered.

I had loved artichokes. I remember jealously craving every single bite.

But did they stand up to the test of time and maturity?

To which the answer is

Oh, God, yes.

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There are many ways of preparing artichokes, but when I first saw them in an Israeli supermarket about a year ago, I went with what seemed the easiest (and what the Internet informs me is also the most traditional)– boiling them.

To prepare the artichoke for boiling, there are several optional steps.

The first is to cut off the tips of the leaves, half an inch or so. You don’t need to, but that part isn’t edible, and it can make peeling off the leaves a touch easier.

The second is seasoning – specifically, you can stick garlic cloves between the leaves, as I did here. Or stick bay leaves or lemon juice in the water you’ll be boiling.

I don’t go overboard with seasoning, because artichoke flavor is delicious and mouth watering and wonderful and I don’t want to overwhelm it.

You can also prep the stem – I usually only trim the very tip of it –  I like eating the stem.

After that you boil the artichokes. There’s no exact information on how long this takes, so I’ve been doing it solely on guesswork thus far, but artichokes are reasonably forgiving about timing. Some website say when you can pass a knife through but this is wrong. What has worked for me thus far is “it’s easy to detach a leaf”.

Artichokes do float, so you may have to put a pot lid on top of them (bot covering the pot, but rather weighing down the artichokes)

Traditionally one uses butter based sauces as dips for artichoke leaves. I personally, as mentioned above, think the flavor of plain artichoke is perfect and sublime and does not need any embellishment.

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