Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.
Tell us how you trim and cook them -- that might offer some clues.
I was using them in a skillet recipe where the outer leaves are removed, the artichoke cut lengthwise, and simmered for 20 min in a lemon and chicken broth liquid.
After simmering them, did you cut off a piece and taste it for tenderness? I'm wondering if they needed a little more simmering? Also, if you were using large artichokes, they sometimes need aggressive trimming. But I've never really found large artichokes to be tough -- usually it's the small ones.
It sounds like you're not simmering long enough. I usually steam artichokes for about 30-40 minutes. They are done when the outer leaves are easily pulled off.
I agree with Amanda and Angie...until you can easily pull off one of the large outer leaves, keep steaming!
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Well played. You deserve a cookie.
Why choose when you can have both?
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