Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Favorite #5 - Artichokes


Ok, time to get back to my Favorites series! 

My favorite food in the entire world is, hands down, ARTICHOKES.  I'm not talkin' 'bout these:


I'm talkin' 'bout THESE:

My parents are from California so artichokes have been a regular item on my menu since day one.  They're basically a dime a dozen in California so we had them pretty frequently with dinner.  After moving around to various parts of California and Hawaii as a kid, we landed in Seattle and were appalled to find that 'round these parts, artichokes are grown not for their delicious, meaty leaves, but for their spiny, purple flowers:




{Image Source}

They don't grow very well in this region so as a result you have to pay out the ass for ONE artichoke (on average, they're about $2.99 EACH) but I still eat them pretty regularly.  Trader Joe's usually has some good prices on the small guys, but I like the huge, bulbous variety.  

Some people like to steam theirs, but I find that steaming doesn't get the heart soft enough.  I prefer to boil mine for about 45 minutes to an hour per 'choke.  I usually add a couple garlic cloves and some rosemary to the water so the leaves and heart absorb those flavors.  I eat them with lots of garlic butter (my family and most other people I know eat theirs with mayonnaise) and savor every last leaf.  And the heart?  A pure food orgasm.  

Do you like artichokes?  How do you like to eat them? 

16 comments:

  1. I LOVE artichokes. LOVE LOVE LOVE. I usually steam mine but now I think I will have to try to boil them! I love the leaves, but I live and die by the heart. Yum. Now I want an artichoke...

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  2. I don't know that I've ever had a whole artichoke, but that sounds delicious!

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  3. Oh Stevie!!! You just won me over! Artichokes to me are a decadence. I LOVE them more than I can write. And I love that you eat with garlic butter- that's what I do too! I tried once with mayo becuase I was at my boyfriend's house with his family and wanted to be polite but it was gross gross. Yum, they are so good. I boil mine in a pot and then let them steam down. They take so long but are so worth it. YUM!

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  4. I've never had an artichoke but now I'm totally curious!

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  5. LOVE artichokes. I steam them for about 30 min, then braise then for about 20 with olive oil, parsley and garlic. Just like my mom did.

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  6. I've never, ever cooked my own artichoke. I had them at a party once, and remember not having a clue how I was supposed to eat it, haha! I do love a good spinach artichoke dip though :)

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  7. Hi Stevie! Thanks for the sweet comment on my blog! Unfortunately, I'm not a big artichoke fan (bad experience in the past)...but I am a Seattle fan so I will be following your blog! :)

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  8. Artichokes are one of my fav veggies and my family used to have them pretty regularly. But now the BF isn't a big fan so it's few & far between, but I'll eat anything w/the hearts in it.

    I definitely am a fan of boiling them as well as steaming, but for a dipping sauce it's part mayo, part mustard, a little milk and just a pinch of sugar. Sounds weird, I know...but super tasty.

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  9. Love artichokes. I cook them the same way you do sans the herbs and garlic but will totally try that now. Sometimes QFC has them for $1.50/$1 each and that's when I buy a ton!

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  10. @Erin - I like my hearts to be really soft and melty, which is why I boil mine. For those who like crunchier hearts, steaming is the way to go. Thanks for stopping by!

    @E - You MUST eat a whole one in your lifetime! So delicious.

    @Caitlin - They are totally decadent! I just love the way they look and the way they taste. They can be prepared in so many different ways and they're always a treat.

    @Emily Jane - Go out and get yourself an artichoke ASAP!

    @Maiden Metallurgist - That sounds WONDERFUL. I may have to try that next time!

    @Angela Noelle - I'm thinking I might have to do an instructional vlog on the proper way to eat one! They can be a bit tricky. And yes, a good spinach artichoke dip is to die for!

    @Betty - I'll forgive you ;-) What was your bad experience?

    @Cass - I don't like mayonnaise, but mustard sounds great! Maybe mixed in with a bit of horseradish instead of mayo?

    @Linda - YES, I always buy a ton when they're on sale. We live by a Top Foods and they had them on sale for 89 cents a piece a couple months ago! I almost bought the whole pile :-)

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  11. I love artichokes, but have never even attempted to make them at home. Doesn't sound too hard though! Thanks for sharing this easy way to cook them!

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  12. I like artichokes (and certainly grew up with them as I'm from California's San Joaquin Valley) and I even get them in my CSA share sometimes, but I rarely go through the trouble of cooking them. Reading this I realize I'm being unbelievably lazy. I can, in fact, boil water, so I'll just try your method next time. Thanks!

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  13. I've always used a pressure cooker. They seem to absorb more of the flavor of whatever spices I use, and they cook in 15 minutes or less. (Any more, and they start getting mushy)

    I like them plain, and have had hearts in butter or vinegar marinade. Never tried mayonnaise... Maybe next time...

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  14. I love them ^_^
    Usually I boil them with diced lemons (make sure the lemons are organic though)and serve with Aioli and Lemonbutter.

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  15. I love them! Have you ever boiled them in chicken broth? It's the only way for me.

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  16. I know this is an old blog but I'm moving to the Bremerton Wa area soon and love Artichokes. I'm a chef and believe me when I say that Microwaving an artichoke is AMAZING! Trim your leaves as usual, rinse under tap water, to not fully dry, allow some water to remain in the artichoke. next, sprinkle some minced garlic in between the leaves. Drizzle with olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper and lemon zest and juice. Place in a casarole dish, cover with 2 layers plastic wrap then microwave on high for about 10-14 min per artichoke.


    They come out so great because you are not losing all of the amazing flavor to the water you would traditionally boil them in. I love them with melted butter and lemon wedges but also love a change once in a while and do a Mayo, worchestshire, lemon and garlic sauce. SO GOOD! ENJOY!

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