What’s for dinner Wednesday?

Summertime is just around the corner for us here in California! Something my husband and I love in the summertime? Artichokes – big, green, delicious! Our three year old is just getting into the fun of eating them, pulling the leaves off, dipping in a sauce, dragging the meat off with her teeth and tossing in the bowl. Not the mention how we all love to share our artichoke “hearts” with each other.
Trying an artichoke for the first time? Here is a basic how-to on cooking and eating artichokes:

Prep time: 15 minutes (including dipping sauce)
Cook time: 45 minutes

Prepping the ‘choke:
Some artichokes have little thorns on the end of the leaves to remove. Take kitchen scissors and cut off the tips on all the leaves.

Slice about 3/4 inch to an inch off the tip of the artichoke.

 

 

 

 

Rinse the artichokes in running cold water. I like to “open” the artichokes a bit. I do this by holding the base of the artichoke with the leaves facing toward the counter and giving it a couple of smacks until the leaves open some.

Cooking the artichoke:
In a large pot, place a steamer at the bottom. Fill water until it reaches the bottom of the steamer.  Place the artichokes all around the pot with the base on the bottom and the leaves facing up. Cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 25 to 45 minutes or until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off.

Dipping Sauce

Some artichokes really don’t need any sauce at all. However, I included a link to several at the bottom. This one is my gold standard.
For two large artichokes
3 TBS Mayonnaise (we use sunflower oil mayonnaise)
1 ½  TBS Mustard (any kind of Dijon)
couple splash of lemon juice

Now the fun part!

How do I eat one?

Pull off outer petals, one at a time.

Dip white fleshy end in sauce. Tightly grip the other end of the petal. Place in mouth, dip side down, and pull through teeth to remove soft, pulpy, delicious portion of the petal. Discard remaining petal.

Continue until all of the petals are removed.

With a knife or spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy “hair” covering the artichoke heart. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. Cut into pieces and dip into sauce to eat.

Want to explore more ways to enjoy artichokes? The delicious vegetable has its very own web page:

http://www.artichokes.org/recipes.html

Let us know what your favorites are!

**Photos courtesy of Elise @ Simply Recipes**

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