There have been a rash of Artichoke sales going on at the local market which prompted me to buy them, cook them and eat them with my favorite dip which is homemade Thousand Island Dressing. And then I realized this isn’t the typical way to eat them. My cousins informed me that they’ve always used butter. I can’t imagine. I’ve never done that and it sounds too unhealthy to me though I doubt Thousand Island Dressing is really any better.
Because I was taught to eat my artichokes this way I’ve passed it on to my nieces. In fact, I was just talking to me niece’s step-mom about how you boil the artichokes and how you make the Thousand Island Dressing. I thought I’d share.
So many websites tell you to cut off the top and to trim the top of the lower leaves. I’ve always been baffled by this as I’ve never done it. I gather it is to prevent yourself from pricking your fingers on the barb at the top of each leaf. But here is the thing, if I were to “declaw” my artichokes before boiling, I’m positive I’ve covered in bandages.
Instead, I drop them in a stock pot, cover them with water, put a vegetable steamer over them to keep them underwater and cover them. Once they start boiling, I time them for about 20 minutes (medium artichoke) [say double that for a large] before taking a meat fork and poking the base. If it goes in easily (like a soft baked potato) your artichoke is done and you can take them out and put them in a strainer to cool.
I assume people eat them hot but I like mine cold and therefore the stainer (with a bowl underneath it) goes into the refrigerator. I usually cook them the day before I want to eat them but if you cook them in the morning, I’m sure they would be cook enough to eat for dinner or with dinner.
Now before eating them I often cut off part of the stem because the end tends to be a little hard or tough, but the whole stem does not need to be cut off.
Sit down with your dip of choice, peel off a leaf, and dip. Now you’ll want to be holding the left from the top (barbed side) just be careful and scrap the leaf with your teeth. The leaf below probably could have been scrapped a little higher but it is up to you.
As you eat you’ll realize the leaves are getting thinner and sometimes instead of a scrap you are basically biting them. That’s fine. I usually only go (with the leaves) until this start to look like this:
You can just grab that purple section and pull this off and toss it. Your artichoke will now look something like this (this image shows some of the stringy inside removed):
You want to take a spoon and scoop out all the stringy stuff in the heart. I do believe it is something you are never meant to consume. After you’ve scrapped out all the stringy stuff your artichoke heart should look like this (mine usually has some stem to it and I don’t use a fork):
Some cut the edges off but it isn’t necessary. I just break mine apart and dip and eat. SOOO GOOD!
Now for that dip recipe because you will want to make that before you can actually eat the artichoke but it doesn’t have to be made too far ahead of time.
Mix It Up
Mix all together. If it tastes a but tart add some Sweet Pickle Juice (or more relish). That always helps. When doubling or tripling, I suggest tasting the mix and adjusting as you go. I don’t really have it down to a recipe. I generally just start dumping the ingredients together until it tastes good.
Also this is a salad dressing but it can be a bit thick so a little milk added will loosen it up a bit. Also delicious on hamburgers.
I hope you all enjoy. I think I’m going to the store to get myself an artichoke!