Today we had artichokes for an after dinner treat. And, yum oh yum! You heard it folks, WHOLE artichokes is a Carter favorite. Scott grew up dipping his in straight mayo. It's not terrible or anything but it doesn't compare to my families tradition of dipping our artichokes in butter with a little dill (here are a couple other tasty options for dipping sauces that I will be trying next time here & here).
HOW TO PREPARE:
But first & foremost, friends, you have to learn how to prepare & eat whole artichokes. Here I am to save the day!
1. Cut off about an inch of the end and cut off the top of some of the more spikey tips (usually I don't do this & haven't noticed any difference. I guess it depends on how spikey the tips are).
2. Put them in a big saucepan in a couple inches of water (basically for steaming) Cover with a lid & boil for 30 min. It doesn't matter if they are stem down or up or on their side (I'm pretty sure I always just throw mine in so they lay on their sides).
3. Pull them out and let the water drain out of them for a bit. Then serve.
HOW TO EAT:
1. To eat you pull off one of the outermost petals. Dip the base of the petal into your favorite sauce.
2. Pull the petal through your slightly clenched teeth to remove the soft, tender, & tasty flesh at the bottom of the petal. Discard remainder.
4. You remove it by scooping out the fuzziess it out with a spoon.
3. Keep going around the artichoke eating until all petals have been removed (the ones in the very middle are lame & have no "meat" on them so just pull them off & toss). Then you will run into the fuzzy choke guarding the heart.
5. Now eat the heart- the best part & worth all the work- just dip, bite, & enjoy!
Or, you know, basically anytime. Anywhere.
P.S. Any other artichoke eaters out there? Any other advice for first time tasters?