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Thursday, November 1, 2012

the guide to eating an artichoke (from chef joy)

This was the email I got:

"Chef Joy presents: Intrigue in the Kitchen

If it squeaks when you squeeze it, you have a fresh one.  I have a squeaker... can I come over and cook it up for you? Friday afternoon?"

And there she was. Chef Joy on my doorstep in her chef's jacket. With her wicker basket full of artichokes. 

Chef Joy made her way to the kitchen. "Hi, Taylor! Ready? Today we are making an artichoke. Have you ever made one before?" 

"Uh, no," I said. "I mean we've ordered them at restaurants but it looks like too much trouble to snip the leaves and steam it upside down. . ."

Chef Joy laughed "No! It's so easy! And it's a fun thing to eat together! People seem to be intimidated by this vegetable. No need to be.  It's so easy!"

And this is how she did it. 

The Steamed Artichoke

1 medium artichoke
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Juice from one lemon
1 tbsp. butter (room temperature)

Cut off stem of artichoke and place upright in bowl.  Fill to 1 inch high  with chicken broth and lemon juice.  Save ¼ of lemon the lemon juice.  Cover with Saran Wrap.  Cut a small slit for steam.  Microwave for 10 minutes, To see if artichoke is done, try to pull off a bottom leaf. It should pull off easily.  Cook in 5 minute increments till done.  A large artichoke will take 20 minutes.

In a small bowl add some chicken broth, the rest of lemon juice and the butter to dip artichoke leaves in. 

Artichoke can be prepared in a saucepan too.  Same idea, cover with a lid.  It will take 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Enjoy a bubble bath while it cooks.

How to eat an artichoke: 

Starting at the bottom, pluck one leaf at a time, dip it into the sauce, then draw the meaty end through your teeth to extract the flesh.  Continue till you hit immature prickly pink leaves.  Pull these off.  Use a spoon to scrape off the fuzz or choke.  Underneath is the hidden treasure--the heart.  Cut into pieces and enjoy. 


  • When selecting an artichoke, hold it in your hand and squeeze it a little, it should squeak a bit. It should also look succulent. That's a great word, isn't it? Succulent.
  • In many recipe you will be directed to cut off the point tips. No need to do this, really. 

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