How To Cook An Artichoke
Do you know how to eat an artichoke?
Growing up my mom would serve us steamed artichokes with a butter & breadcrumb dip, or with a mayo & mustard sauce. It always felt so grown up pulling off each leaf and scraping the meat off with your teeth.
Now if you’re at my house for any kind of eating occasion there’s a really good chance you’ll find an artichoke on the table. Turns out, not everyone knows how to eat an artichoke - so you can treat your guests a delicious appetizer and a new skill.
Over the last 10 years, I've probably made, I don't know, 50 artichokes. Here's the method I have mastered.
FOR THE ARTICHOKE
- 1 Artichoke or 2 Baby Artichokes
- 1-2 Dried Bay Leaves
- 1 Tsp Whole Peppercorns
- Slices from 1/2 a lemon
Use a sharp knife to cut off the top of the artichoke to remove the sharp, pointy tips. Peel off the smaller outer leaves and any off the stem. Cut off the end of the stem and use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin of the stem so the more tender meat is revealed.
Place a steamer basket in the pot and add a few cups of water to the pot. It's fine if some of the artichoke is submerged in the water. (I actually don't have a steamer basket so I add just an inch or so of water and put the artichoke in upside down and it works perfectly. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns and a few slices of lemon. Steam, covered, until the outer leaves can be pulled off easily but the stem is still tender (approx 20-25 mins...depending on the size of the artichoke).
Serve whole. Once you get down to the thinner, more tender inner leaves, cut in half and remove the feathery inside leaves with a paring knife. This is the "artichoke heart". Cut in quarters and eat away.
(Optional) Cut in half, using a knife remove the small feathery inside leaves, rub with olive oil, grill on each side until browned a bit.
CAPER MAYO DIP
- 1-2 tbsp mayo (my fav is Just Mayo)
- 1-2 tbsp Dijon mustard (I use a smooth vs grainy mustard but either is fine)
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2-1 tbsp capers, rinsed & chopped
Mix all together in a ramekin & serve alongside your delicious, fancy looking artichoke.