Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Art of Artichoking

Have you ever seen those weird looking artichokes and wondered how on earth you are supposed to eat those things and how to prepare them? And, more to the point, how do they actually taste? Well, wonder no more because here you'll learn the art of artichoking in 7 easy steps.
Step 1: put the artichoke in some salty water for an hour or so to get rid off creepy crawlies. Cut off the stem and rub the cut on the artichoke with a slice of lemon.

Step 2: boil water in a pan, put the artichoke in, bring again to the boil, add the juice of one lemon and let it all gently boil for 30 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of the artichoke. I boiled mine for 40 minutes and as you can see it was a bit of a handful. The artichoke is ready when the leaves come off when you pull them gently.

Step 3: make the vinaigrette:
- 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
- half a tablespoon of mustard
- salt
- pepper
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon of chopped chives
- 1 shallot finely chopped

Mix all ingredients together and serve in small bowl.

Step 4: eat the artichoke by pulling off the leaves one by one, dipping the end in the vinaigrette and gently scrape the fleshy bit off the leaf with your teeth.
A real master of artichoking knows to savour each leaf . Artichoking is an art, it's a slow process, it's enjoyment, it's Zen. Fast food it most certainly is not.
Step 5: after you have eaten all the leaves you are left with the heart of the flower.
Step 6: remove the 'hay' in the middle until you are left with this.
Step 7 : cut into bite sizes, dunk in vinaigrette and enjoy.
And that is how you master the art of artichoking.

How did it taste? Delicious, very tender and spring-like. Not surprisingly as it is a flower bud that you're eating. Are you a master of artichoking yet?

copyright 2008 Y.E.W. Heuzen

Gardeners (or, indeed, people in general) who always play safe are missing out on the thrill of taking risks and occasionally bringing off the longed-for coup. If you love colour, then try some outlandish combinations to see how you get on with them. Orange with magenta, for instance. I think those two work splendidly next to one another.
Christopher Lloyd


Jane Marie said...

Thank you so much for this. I've always been intimidated by them. Now I won't hesitate to give it a try.

Gail said...

it's breakfast time here, but it still looks delicious. The olive oil vinaigrette sound so much healthier and tastier than the clarified butter I've had!


Pam/Digging said...

I'll never forget the first time I was served an artichoke at the home of my husband's aunt and uncle. I was not sure how to proceed, and yet I didn't stop to watch the others, but pulled off a leaf and popped the whole thing in my mouth. I chewed and chewed and chewed and chewed and finally choked the thing down. They were all too polite to laugh or say a word, but what they must have been thinking! :-)

Tracy said...

mmm...delicious! I love artichokes...with a little oil and lemon. I've not grown them before though. They are beautiful, mysterious things. Happy Days ((HUGS))

VP said...

I've never eaten an artichoke, but this has made me want to try one right now!

Stacy said...

Yes, but what does it taste like? :)

Marian said...

Dat heb ik nog nooit gegeten, misschien dat ik het eens ga proberen, wat ik zo mooi vind zijn je Hortensia-placemats!!

Cheryl said...

I adore artichokes.....I do not eat meat, so a great deal of importance is put on the vegetables, in my diet. I remember the first time I tried them. I had a recipe in front of me and followed it religiously. The first time was not the best BUT now I am experienced in the art of artichoking....I absolutely love them.
A wonderful post Yolanda for all those a bit wary of this wonderful flower!!!

Ewa said...

I always wondered how and why :) now I feel enlightened, so thank you YE :)

Frances, said...

Many thanks, YE. I have avoided the chokes because I did not want to embarass myself with ignorance showing. You have given the instructions, now let us seek out the artichoke. How hard are they to grow? Did you grow that one in your garden?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Yolanda I have never even seen an artichoke in our grocery to buy. I wouldn't have known what to do with them if they did have one. Now I will look for one in another store and try it. It sounds delicious. I have had dip made from canned artichokes and it is good. Another tasty treat for summer enjoyment. Thanks for the lesson.


When I was a kid, my mom cooked these up and we dipped the leaves in butter. Super-yummy!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to artichoke Bliss!

* Jane Marie: do give them a try, they are fun to eat and delicious too.

* Gail: the olive vinaigrette is worth a try for many reasons. ;-)

* Pam: thanks for sharing that funny story. The easy 7 step mastering of the artichoke came too late for you I see. But kudoes for managing to get that leaf down! ;-)

* Tracy: artichokes are very easy to grow. I grew mine from seed.

* VP: excellent, I like it when people want to try out new things!

* Stacy: the answer to that question you'll find near the bottom of my post. ;-)

* Marian: artisjokken zijn de moeite van het proberen waard. De placemats heb ik bij Action gekocht en zijn eigenlijk snijplanken.

* Cheryl: like you I do not eat meat so I like to try anything vegetable or mineral. ;-) I think it a pity that people won't try them because they don't know what to do with artichokes, now they know! :-)

* Ewa: do give them a try, oh enlightened one ;-), and see if you like them, I love eating them.

* Frances: they are very easy to grow. I grew mine from seed. Just plant the seed and let nature do the rest. The only thing you have to do is make sure when the artichokes are ready for harvest and give the plant some support if the flowers become to heavy.

* Lisa: lately I've seen them dried for sale in flowershops and it is very seldom that I see them in grocery shops. That's why I grow my own. When I was in France I saw them all over the place. Do give them a try and let me know how you got on.

* Melissa: lucky you to have a gourmet mom!

Thanks all for popping by and leaving your comments!

Betty said...

A great tutorial about artichokes...delicious....

Yes, we had a fantastic visit with Marion and John...just too brief....

I'm beginning to blog about it and Marion will also....Betty

lenie said...

heb in je vorige log al zitten snoepen ;)))
zag er zo lekker uit , ook met kilroy hoor ..was ik vast gniffel ..
en nu die sjok eten , ga ik proberen ;)))
groetjes en bedankt voor je steun

Naturegirl said...

Yes! I am an avid lover of artichokes!I just mix mayonaise and dijon mustard and dip and eat!Yummy!
I'll have to try your vinegarette!
P'S: there is a different kind of art happening at Nature-trail! purzzzz!

Naturegirl said...

Yolanda: I forgot to mention that our grocery stores here in Canada stock them always in the produce area. At
Christmas I will buy many and SPRAY PAINT them GOLD to use for centrepieces! Great with red pomegranets!Always a use for these unique flower buds!

Brimstone said...

Moet ik toch eens doen.
Ik zie in je reactie dat je ook een 'Action-fan' bent :-)

Het slotcitaat is prachtig!

Weed Whackin' Wenches said...

Wonderful tutorial! I'm a big artichoke fan. And since discovering that there are PURPLE ones, I'e been dying to try one. But I haven't seen any purple ones here, not even at the all-organic stores. Haven't tried growing them--yet.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Artichokes are too tender to be local produce around here, so we never had to worry about creepy crawlies when we had them. My mom used to stuff them with seasoned breadcrumbs & bake them drizzled with olive oil. I loved them, but my dad had trouble eating them because one of his front teeth is chipped! My mom hasn't made them in about 30 years because it was too much work. I'd ask her for the reciepe, but my kids wouldn't eat it & DH doesn't like artichokes. (He's so weird, he likes liver!)

preious said...

It is the first time I saw this Artichokes and it is like a banana's heart. It is amazing and beautiful but weird looking.

Home Garden

Ruth Welter said...

Hi Yolanda, I love eating artichokes but funny enough, never reallly thought of how they look originally and I had no idea what to do with them either.

Marian said...

:-( Er is hier helemaal geen Action in de buurt voor die leuke
snijplaceplankenmats (proest!)
Daar moet ik met verhuizen ook rekening mee houden, hahaha!

walk2write said...

Your recipe looks yummy, YE. I will have to try it if I can find one in the store. I'm not sure if we can grow them here in Florida. Since you are a vegetarian, do you like any other edible flowers and do you have any recipes which incorporate them?

Ashraf Al Shafaki said...

Here in Egypt we call it kharshouf (خرشوف). The most popular way we eat it is as a fresh fruit without cooking it! Yes, without cooking it at all.

We first wash it well with running water. Then we pulling off the (uncooked) leaves one by one and eating the crunchy (not fleshy, due to not being cooked) part of the leave. No need to dip it in anything even!

After eating most of the leaves, there comes so tiny leaves that are not worth eating their edible part. So we just pluck them off together with 'hey' in the middle and then eat the heart of the artichoke (again without dipping into anything) with a spoon. The reason we have to use a spoon is that the (uncooked) 'heart' is not soft.

Eating the heart must be done immediately after removing the hey on top of it, otherwise its color will instantly turn black (when it comes in contact with oxygen in the air).

By the tips (or let's say bottoms) of the leaves have all been eaten, you are left with a huge pile of leaves and you amaze yourself on how all such a pile of leaves were packed into such medium sized fruit. An yeh, your tongue will be all purple. Have a look in the mirror.

We sometimes cook it though, by putting it in boiling water. We then dip it into a source made of vinegar and other stuff I can't remember. A third method is cutting out the heart carefully with a knife making sure you also take the edible parts of the leaf ends together with the heart then putting it in vinegar first (in order not to turn black in color) or boiling it directly. We also can buy it directly from the supermarket as 'hearts' only that have already been cut from the artichoke plants.

That's how we eat artichoke, or kharshouf, here in Egypt.

Karin A said...

After reading your post I definitly know how to do! Thanks! :) I never eat them fresh but should do it more often. How are you doing? Here it's so hot and I'm longing for rain.. :)

Have a nice weekend! Kram Karin

Rosemarie said...

That artichoke made me swoon. I love them almost more for their ornamental value than as food.

Carol Van Rooy said...

Thanx for posting this snip-it. I'd always wondered how to prepare them.

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