I love artichokes.
I literally buy cans of them and eat them as a snack food out of the can with a fork.
This probably just made some of my readers cringe, but it is the truth. Unfortunately, I have not recently been able to get fresh artichokes. I finally came home with some artichokes when I found them on sale this past weekend, though. I traded two with my wonderful neighbor for some other fresh produce, and proceeded to experiment with cooking the two I had left. Mind you, I've never done this before.
Then I tossed them into some boiling water with the juice from a fresh lemon, a lemon that I got from my trade. The color went from a bright green to a pale-yellow green during the cooking time. I let the artichokes boil for a few minutes and then simmered them for about 20-30 minutes until they were tender enough to easily pluck off a petal.
Once I removed them from the water, I plucked the pieces off one by one and enjoyed the meaty bit at the base of each leaf. I have to admit, I was anxious to reach the little gold nugget inside where I knew the heart was, though. I kept on with my process: pluck, eat, toss, pluck, eat, toss. I even began using two hands to quicken my journey to the heart: pluck with R hand, eat, toss with left hand and pluck with right...
I was pathetic.
The most pathetic part of this entire experience was that I didn't educate myself enough to realize that the artichoke was indeed a flower....with a purple inside and tons of tiny little hairlike projections. I finally broke into the center to see a squished little heart covered in hair bits that I could hardly remove completely from the "heart".
Next time I'll try harder to separate the heart better. I need much more practice.
'Till then, I'll stick with the canned artichokes..
Do you ever make fresh artichokes?
Do you have tips on how to get the heart out more easily?