Artichokes are one of those interesting veggies – it’s really a thistle cultivated to be food. The globe artichokes that you received in your box are the buds of the plant that are harvested before they turn into a beautiful purple flower!!
So easy to prepare and fun to eat, some people just like the “heart” of the artichoke, but I believe each leaf deserves to be dipped. There are many types of dips you can serve with a steamed artichoke, melted butter and lemon being a very simple solution. The recipe below is also very simple and tasty!
I don’t worry too much about perfection on the prep, just trim the leaves with the biggest thorns, I just snip them off with kitchen shears and then use a sharp knife to cut the very top off. Have a bowl of lemon water (1 T lemon juice to 1 cup of water) waiting to keep them trimmed parts from turning brown.
I then dump the lemon water in my steaming pot along with water to just below the steaming basket, add some garlic and maybe a bay leaf or some dried herbs to season the water.
I steam them, when they are submerged I feel they can get a little soggy and water logged, tops down (again to prevent the heart from getting soggy) over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes.
Basic Garlic Mayo Dipping Sauce
1 cup of your favorite mayonnaise (my favorite is Primal Kitchen made with Avocado Oil)
1-2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
2-3 cloves of pressed fresh garlic
1 tsp. fresh or dried herbs (Costco has this organic herb blend that is really good, Simply Organic makes a nice one too)
1 T. chopped fresh parsley (optional but good)
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and let it sit refrigerated for at least an hour to let the spices meld.
If this is your first artichoke – grab a big bowl to discard the leaves as you work from the outside towards the center. Pluck the outer leaves and dip the base of the leaf into the sauce and scrape the meat off with your teeth. As you get closer to the center, the leaves change texture and get smaller. The tinyest leaves can be discarded into your bowl and then you will discover the thistle-ness – don’t stop there!! Use a spoon to scrape the hairy looking stuff away and behold the center – the artichoke heart prize – which is firm and has a slightly different taste than the meat on the leaves. Savor the heart with some sauce.