How to Prepare and Eat Artichokes

Someone asked me recently how to prepare and eat artichokes as an appetizer. I do this often but I had a hard time explaining the process using my words and gestures. I am pretty sure this person went home, followed my terrible instructions, and now hates artichokes forever. I will carry that burden of tainting one person’s view of preparing artichokes… but I’m going to try to remedy that by posting a tutorial here for all future artichoke lovers:

  1. Cut about 1/4 off the top of the artichoke and bottom of the artichoke
        
  2. Using scissors, cut the top of the rest of the petals so there are no more pointy tips
       
  3.  Wash artichoke thoroughly and squeeze juice of half a lemon into a bowl (optional)
       
  4. Place artichokes and half squeezed lemon in boiling water with the stem down. After 45 minutes, carefully remove artichoke and place on plate to let cool a few minutes.
          
  5. Tear off each petal and dip into aioli, melted butter, or any sauce you prefer (if making aioli – add 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon paprika, and 1 clove minced garlic to lemon juice)
          
  6. Pull each petal through your teeth to strip off the soft white meat. The edible part is ONLY the white area of each petal and the artichoke bottom, also known as the heart (we will get to that later).
       
  7. Continue taking off each petal and eating the soft white meat until you get to the purplish center.
       
  8.  Take off all the purple petals (be careful they are sharp!) until you get to the hairy center
       
  9. Using a spoon, scoop off the hairy center completely to get to the artichoke bottom or “heart” The entire bottom is edible and is the most desirable part.
       

Enjoy!

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