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What are Artichokes and Where Can I Get Them.
Artichokes are in the thistle family. They are the bud of the artichoke “thistle”. They are full of good for you vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They also are high in antioxidants. A medium artichoke has 3.5 grams of protein and only 60 calories. Artichokes offer more protein than any other vegetable. Overall, they are an excellent choice for a healthy and delicious vegetable.
Artichokes can be found in grocery stores year-round, but they are at their best in late winter to early spring. Their peak is the month of April. When purchasing an artichoke, look for one that is a vibrant, deep green color. It should be heavy and solid with tightly closed leaves.
How do I Prepare an Artichoke?
To prepare the artichoke:
- Rinse the artichoke with water.
- Cut the stem off, so it is flush with the bottom of the base of the artichoke.
- Cut one inch off the top.
- Rub the entire artichoke with lemon juice to keep it from turning brown.
How Do I Cook an Artichoke?
- The best way to cook an artichoke is in an Instant pot or pressure cooker.
- Place the rack in the Instant Pot and place the artichokes on the rack cut side up.
- Add water, lemon pieces, and garlic to the instant pot.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes for medium artichokes.
- Quick-release the pressure and remove the artichoke from the pot so that they don’t get overcooked and soggy.
How Do I Eat Artichokes?
The best part of an artichoke is the bottom or heart. If you want to only eat the heart, peel off and discard all the outer leaves and the choke. The choke is that fuzzy part in the middle. The best way to remove the choke is to cut or scoop it out. The entire heart is edible, cut it into bite-size pieces and dip the heart in your favorite veggie dip. My favorite dip is garlic browned butter. The video shows how to make the garlic browned butter.
The base of the outer leaves are also edible. Dip the base of the leaf in the dipping sauce and pull the leaf through your teeth, removing the soft pulpy lining of the leaf. Discard the rest of the leaf.
Have fun cooking and eating an artichoke.
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- Instant Pot
- 2 artichokes
- 1 lemon cut in half
- 3 cloves garlic peeled, whole
- 4 tbsp butter If vegan use a non-dairy spread
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Wash the artichoke and cut about an inch off the top. Cut the stem off so it is flush with the bottom of the artichoke. Rub 1/2 of the lemon on the cut ends and outside of the artichoke. This keeps it from turning brown during cooking.
- Put the rack in the instant pot. Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the instant pot.
- Place the artichokes on the rack, cut side up. Cut the other half of the lemon into 2 pieces and add to the Instant pot. Add the whole cloves of garlic to the Instant Pot.
- Lock the lid of the Instant pot and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. If the artichokes are small cook for 10 minutes. If they are large cook for 30 minutes.
- Quick-release the pressure at the end of the cooking cycle to make sure the artichokes don’t get soggy. Serve with the garlic browned butter or garlic non-dairy spread if you are vegan. Peel off the outer layers, dip the tender base of the outer leaves in the garlic browned butter sauce. Pull the leaf through your teeth to remove the soft pulpy base. Discard the leaf. When you get down to the choke, (the furry part in the center), scoop out the choke and discard. Cut the heart into bite-size pieces. Dip the pieces in the sauce and enjoy it.
Garlic Browned Butter or Vegan Dip
- Make the garlic browned butter or non-dairy garlic dip while the artichokes are cooking. For the browned butter, add in the minced garlic during the last 20 seconds of browning. If you need a good video on how to make browned butter (click here). Just substitute the garlic for the fresh herbs.
- For a vegan dip. Use a non-dairy butter spread. Saute the garlic in a small amount of the spread until lightly browned. Add the rest of the buttery spread and heat until the spread is melted. Serve with the cooked artichokes.