Preparing My First Artichoke

I very much enjoy artichokes. I have had them only a handful of times before, all of which have luckily been documented on the blog.

I have enjoyed artichoke hearts with lemon, honey, dates and walnuts, artichokes with risotto and sausage,  and one of my favorites – artichokes on pizza! All of which have been awesome and leaving me wanting more artichokes!

After seeing them all over the produce section I decided to face my fear and attempt to make my first artichoke!

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This doesn’t look so scary, right? It’s actually very pretty looking, I love the green coloring. But don’t be fooled, this vegetable has some prickly parts!

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The sad thing about artichokes is about only 10% of the actual vegetable is edible. Most of it gets thrown away. A big chunk of the outer leaves must first be torn off and then you slice off the top inch or so of the artichoke.  The only edible part of the plant is the flower base.

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If you don’t slice off the top section of the ‘choke you will get prickled! So reader beware! I might have pricked my finger once or twice peeling off the leaves!

Artichoke Health Benefits – One artichoke contains approximately one fourth of an average sized adults fiber needs. The artichoke is also rich in vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and magnesium!

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I have some conversations with Sabrina about what exactly to do to prepare the artichokes. I watched her ‘How To Prepare Artichokes’ video and learned a lot.

After you sliced and dice the ‘choke and its ready to go, you toss it in boiling water, bring it back to a boil and then let it simmer for about 45 minutes under the artichoke is soft.

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While that was rolling I decided to make some pasta and pasta sauce to go along with the ‘chokes. I used my Lucini Hearty Artichoke Tomato Sauce (which was sent to me to sample), because I thought it would be a great compliment to the fresh ‘chokes I was making!

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After 45 minutes, the artichokes were easily peeling apart in the pot of water on the stove. I drained the water and then had to sort through what was edible and what wasn’t which was a pain. I don’t think I peeled off enough of the top layer of the ‘choke before I put it in the pot, but eventually I got most of the edible bits out.

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I immediately added some to the pasta sauce.

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The meal turned out pretty good. It was a great way to integrate fresh artichokes into my dinner. It was very yummy and it’s always great to try something new in the kitchen!

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Have you ever made fresh artichokes before? What’s your favorite way to eat them?

I would love any other suggestions/recipes you may have. I will definitely be making artichokes again soon!

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  • Reply runninginpinkproject May 12, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    I always buy them canned. I would love to prepare one fresh like this but had no idea how to go about it. Love the post! 🙂

  • Reply polarama May 13, 2010 at 1:09 am

    I eat the leaves! I steam the whole choke (after trimming just the sharp tips off each leaf) for about 20-30 minutes. Then peel off each leaf, dip in sauce (I like mayo+mustard but my friend just does melted butter with lemon juice) and using your teeth, scrape/suck the yummy insides out. My CA friend swears this this the CA way to do it!

  • Reply ladypurpl May 13, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I have also had artichokes baked in the oven with garlic and then eat the leaf using your teeth to scrape the insides out. A friend of mine prepared artichoke like this years ago and it was tasty. Fresh Artichokes are too much work in the kitchen for me! Your dinner looked good though!

  • Reply AlwaysJoy May 13, 2010 at 11:28 am

    I just cut off the stem and wash it and then toss it in the microwave in a bowl with an inch of water and let it go for 6 minutes and then peel off each leaf and use the teeth scrape method to eat – it is seriously my favorite food and if I could only have one thing for the rest of my life it would either be that or grapefruit…
    Okay that totally just led me to a google search for a recipe with both and I came up with this:
    I think I might be in love!

  • Reply RhodeyGirl May 13, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Oh I think you put a bit too much water in there… to steam them you only need about 1-2 inches of water. Can I come over and show you next time?!?!?!?!!?

  • Reply Jacqui May 13, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    I do the same as Always Joy easy and fast way to cook the choke!

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