Steamed artichokes don’t require a fancy recipe. Wash, cut and steam… and about 40 to 60 minutes later you have tender artichokes. Starting off a meal with a real treat.
I must admit I’d had a very limited knowledge of artichokes until I watched The French Chef: The Artichoke episode. Julia Child has a great way of making you feel like you can cook any dish.
Wash the artichokes in cold water. Remove the stem from the bottom and trim about 1 inch off the top. If the ends of the leaves are real prickly trim off the ends with some kitchen shears – I didn’t trim the leaves.
Place water in your steamer pan and bring to a boil. Or, just place a Stainless Steel Vegetable Steamer in the bottom of a large pot and add water and bring to a boil.
Simple put the artichokes in the steam basket and cover. Check for doneness starting at about 30 minutes. A knife should go in the base easily and if you remove a leaf, the meat on the base of the leaf should come off easily.
Artichokes can be served hot, warm or cold. I can’t decide which I like more, it seems to be good at any temperature. Just start pealing off the leaves starting at the base. Scrape the “meat” off the bottom of each leaf with your teeth. Once you get to the middle, remove the choke or the inedible hair like pieces that would have been the bloom. Once the choke is gone, enjoy the tender heart – either on it’s own or with some melted butter.
Steaming is a simple way to make them, but my favorite is cooking the artichokes in the pressure cooker. It is a bit faster and always tender.