Fun fact: Marilyn Monroe was crowned artichoke queen in 1948.
First, here is a picture of my favorite meal: artichokes, wheat berry salad, and wine!
I will post the recipe for wheatberry salad after we discuss artichoke making and eating.
First trim the stem an rinse the artichoke.
Next place the artichoke in a large pot of water (deep enough so it can fully submerge).
Then turn on the burner to high until it comes to a full boil. Slightly reduce the heat so it continues to boil, but not boil over.
(Any other teachers noticing my "transition words" in my "how to" story? I just realized I am using my first grade writing lesson ideas to explain this... not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but I'll go with it).
Depending on the size of your artichoke, boil 45 min- 1 hour. I usually test the leaves by plucking a random one (not too close to the edge, not too close to the middle), if it comes off pretty easy and is soft when you taste it, it's ready.
Now, here comes the fun part. I put mine in an artichoke steamer for serving because it holds it in place, but this is not necessary. I don't use the steamers to actually steam them because I have found the come out just as good by simply boiling them. Pluck some delicious leaves.
Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice on the leaf or dip in Earth Balance butter (Nate's fav) if desired. Then bite of the "meat" of the artichoke leaf. This is my bite.
This is Lilly's bite. She is an artichoke hound. A professional.
Continue enjoying each leaf (except the ones on the very edge... they are not very good).
Soon it will look like this.
Finish the last few leaves until this is left.
Slice out the "choke" (That is what we call it... might not be the technical term) by running a sharp knife around the edges and all the way into the middle. This definitely takes practice- you won't get it perfect the first try. If you do, don't tell me. It took me several tries until I could get it right. Even if you leave some stringy parts, you can scoop them out with a spoon after. The section on the left is the "choke", we eat the part on the right:
Then slice into chunks.
I always say this is my "dessert" after eating my artichoke leaves... It is that same delicious flavor, intensified and even more scrumptious...
This is our crazy dog begging for more artichoke. Notice (not that it isn't obvious) her crusty, greenish face, from devouring all the meat off the leaves we gave her. That underbite is always much more prominent when she really, really wants something. I love how she knows how to get the good stuff and leaves the rest, and ALWAYS comes back for more!
I realize this is a long blog post, but I must share my wheat berry salad recipe! It is too good not to share with you.
Wheat berry Salad
Adapted from Oh She Glows