Steamed Artichoke – Recipe
“A woman is like an artichoke, you must work hard to get to her heart.” – Inspector Jacques Clouseau in The Pink Panther (2006) Have you ever eaten an artichoke? They are deliciously interesting.
I bought fresh artichokes at our market and when I got home I realised I have absolutely no idea how to prepare them or even how to eat them (as I have not eaten them in years). I ended up googling all strange things from how to eat an artichoke to what to do with artichoke leaves and how to get to the heart. You can already guess where this post is going, I will give you a summary of all my findings.
There are various ways to eat an artichoke, several people prefer to only eat the heart. I must say that I do not agree, you have to eat the leaves and experience the ‘social’ part of eating an artichoke. I decided to steam prepare my artichokes and have balsamic mayo sauce to eat with the leaves.
Imagine an artichoke head/flower being placed in front of you, they are fascinating and beautiful. They make a statement. This is definitely something you can serve to impress, but be warned not all guests will enjoy this or be up for eating mostly with their hands. Bottom-line choose your crowd.
1 large artichoke head (when you choose your artichoke make sure the leaves are not too open)
Water to boil
1. Cut off tips of artichoke head (this will be the tips of the leaves that are a bit thorny). I did not do this as my artichokes were quite soft.
2. Cut stem level at bottom of artichoke so it can stand up straight – this will make for impressive presentation rather than having an artichoke that keeps on falling over.
3. Add artichoke to steamer (I used a steam basket in a pot with a lid filled with a bit of water on my stove).
4. Steam for about 8mins, I used a sharp knife to stick into the side and see whether it is soft.
5. While your artichoke is steaming prepare the sauce that you will be dipping the artichoke leaves into. I took a few spoons of mayonnaise and a bit of balsamic vinegar. Mix it together and taste until you are satisfied with the taste.
6. Remove artichoke from steamer (watch out to not burn yourself with the steam) place upright on a plate and serve with sauce in a small bowl on the side.
How to eat:
1. Start with the top leaves and work your way down until you reach the heart (this is beneath the flower on the inside, you will immediately spot it as it looks almost ‘hairy’.
2. Dip the soft part of the leaf into the sauce.
3. Bite and pull leaf out of mouth, this way you get the soft juicy part of the leaf. Throw the rest of the leaf away in a small bowl. You will notice the ‘deeper’ you get into the artichoke the more soft flesh you will get to eat per leaf.
4. When you get to the flower scrape the leaves/’hair’ (I believe this is named the centre choke) away with a knife.
5. You are now at the heart – enjoy! This is the softest juiciest part of the artichoke and your reward for ‘working’ for your meal.
As you read this is quite a hands on approach. It really has a unique taste and is something fun to share.