Tis the season for fresh artichokes and while I typically stick with the hearts in a jar for cooking, I thought this year I might venture out and try the real thing – fresh from the store. Having never cooked them before, I have to say it was definitely an adventure; and one that ended in a tasty conclusion with both my older boys diving into the leaves with reckless abandon. Nicholas, my oldest, thought that it was “way cool” that we were eating flowers for dinner. Alex, my four year old, did the best he could but just couldn’t quite grasp the concept of sliding the artichoke meat off with his teeth and hence he ended up getting more fiber than was probably originally intended to be eaten when consuming fresh artichoke. No matter though, they ate it and enjoyed it which is what matters most.
If you’ve never cooked and eaten fresh artichokes before, you’re in for a treat. And, of course, the best part about eating them is dipping them in the lemony sauce. So let’s get started. First off, you’ll need (obviously!) artichokes. Here’s mine:
I just love how pretty they are. I bought a pack of four from Trader Joes (of course).
The first thing you’re going to want to do is cut about 3/4″ off the top and trim the tail and small leaves at the bottom of the artichoke, like this:
The next step is to get out your steamer bowl for the artichokes and place it in your large skillet filled with 2 to 3 inches of water and a smattering of lemon and garlic. I used about half a lemon cut into quarters and two garlic cloves cut in half.
Cover your skillet, bring your water to a boil and then turn it down to medium low letting the artichokes steam for about 25 minutes or until the leaves release easily. Here’s what they should look like once they’re finished.
While your artichokes are steaming we’ll go ahead and create the dipping sauce. Here’s what you’ll need:
1 tsp of butter + 2 Tbsp of butter
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1/4 Cup of White Wine
1/2 tsp Worcestershire
1/2 tsp Dried Mustard
1/2 Lemon, Juiced
Salt to Taste
Ok, so for the sauce you’ll want to melt your tsp of butter in a small pan on medium heat and cook up your garlic for a minute or two. Then add in the additional 2 Tbsp of butter, wine, Worcestershire, mustard, and lemon. Let it all come together and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add salt if desired.
Ok, that’s it! Pour yourself a small jug of the tangy lemon goodness, grab yourself an artichoke and proceed to enjoy everything it has to offer. In case you aren’t enlightened on the proper way to consume an artichoke, you can find step by step instructions HERE.