I had a lot of fun doing this step-by-step guide to cooking and eating an artichoke. It’s an unusual vegetable which a lot of people avoid due to the difficulty in preparing it. It’s actually not that hard, you just need a sharp pair of kitchen scissors and *a lot of lemons*!
The first one is to snip off the spines of the globe artichoke and the latter is to prevent the rapid oxidization (artichokes almost turn immediately brown when you cut into it).
You will need:
- 2-3 lemons
- Sharp kitchen scissors
- Slicing knife
- A sturdy metal spoon
The artichoke we got cost RM 24.69. It’s RM 45.90 per kg and I calculate that each petal costs over RM 1! That’s coz the grocery sells the artichoke with a huge stem (which you can’t really eat).
The first thing you do is to snip off the sharp spines in the individual petals on the artichoke. Just use your kitchen scissors to cut it off so a flat edge is formed.
You will need to squeeze lemon juice (or rather dip the lemon half into the cut petal) as soon as you snip the thorns off. This is to prevent it from turning brown. Get those lemons ready!!!
Once you have worked over the entire green artichoke and removed all the thorns, it’s time to cut off the stem. You need to get the stem level to the artichoke or about 1 inch from the end, depending on the recipe.
I think the stalk on my artichoke was a good 3-4 inches. It makes it look pretty, like a flower, but most people don’t eat the stem.
Now that everything is done, you need to remove the choke in the artichoke – use a sharp knife to slice 3/4 of an inch off the top of the artichoke. Remember to squeeze lemon juice all over the artichoke when you do this to prevent oxidization.
The next part is where your study metal spoon comes in…you need to use it to dig into the artichoke so you remove the choke. Think of it as using the spoon to eat a particularly hard frozen iced confectionery. That’s the same motion you should be using. Dig down and remove!
Some people can remove it with one dig but I never could. That’s not important, the important thing is to get the entire choke out since that’s totally inedible. It’s the pink/purple interior of the artichoke that comes with fibres that looks like asbestos.
I’m kidding, I don’t know what asbestos fibers look like but I imagine it’s similar to these! It’s almost feather like to the touch and you have to remove every single bit of the choke.
Make sure your artichoke is clean and free of the choke by a simple visual inspection (you can leave the heart in – that’s edible) and it’s ready to cook! You now have a clean artichoke!
I did a stuffed artichoke from this with breadcrumbs and garlic – I’ll put that up soon! 🙂