An artichoke isn't exactly asking to be eaten. I mean, look at this thing!
Beautiful? Yes. Foreboding (and spiny and prehistoric-looking)? Absolutely. It's the vegetal version of a siren song.
But that doesn't mean you shouldn't buy and eat them: In the spring, when artichokes come into season, they're tender and small and green. If you're going to prep and cook an artichoke, the time is now.
For those among us (me!) who have to work themselves up just to buy one, take heart: There are a million ways to cook an artichoke once you get beyond the spines. And you're giving us lots of inspiration as to how to cook and eat them over on the (Not)Recipes app.
Braising artichokes!?? Just tossing trimmed little artichokes in a generous few glugs of olive oil and white wine plus lots of chopped garlic, mint, olives, and orange zest. Bake, covered, at 400 for an hour-ish.
Saw Heidi's braised artichokes here yesterday and had to have them, stat. Did 'em with two Spanish anchovies, capers, mint, Basque pepper, and Meyer lemon. Cooking liquid half vegetable broth, half vinho verde. 400 covered for 90 min. Dinner tomorrow but I can't stop nibbling.
Quarter and remove choke from 3 artichokes. Rub with lemon. In Dutch oven quickly sauté 4 smashed garlic cloves and a large pinch of crushed red pepper. Add artichoke quarters, 1 cup white wine, 1/2 cup water or veg stock, and teaspoon dried Italian seasoning. Braise until leaves pull away from heart. May need to add more water as artichokes cook. Serve with a garlic aioli.
But you're also stuffing them (with quinoa and with breadcrumbs, Roman-style):
Roman style stuffed artichokes- trim off tough outer leaves and stem, then scoop out the hairy choke and squeeze with lemon. Mix whole wheat panko with minced garlic, herbs salt, pepper and olive oil, then stuff the heart of the artichoke with bread crumb mixture. Steam or braise stuffed artichokes 40 min or until tender. Crisp up under broiler and serve plain or with aioli.
Open up the leaves of the artichoke and hollow out the middle. Cook quinoa separately in chicken broth, salt and pepper. Make homemade pesto with olive oil, pine nuts, basil leaves, garlic, salt & pepper and add half the pesto in the quinoa. Put in the oven in a water bath at 375 for an hour. When you take it out, put it on a plate, pour the remaining pesto on top and drizzle balsamic glaze on top. The full recipe can be found on www.colorfultakeoutqueen.com
And you're grilling them, putting them on pizza, steaming, sautéeing, baking them with potatoes and chicken, baking them whole, and puréeing them into dip! (You can use freshly steamed or marinated hearts for the latter.)