Okey-Dokey Artichokey: The Fabulous Spring Artichoke
Do artichokes intimidate you? Not to eat, but to cook! I used to see them in the store and think to myself, “Yum, artichokes, but how do I cook that thing?” Well, I was missing out with that kind of thinking! Artichokes are an excellent spring seasonal vegetable, they can be used in a number of dishes and cooking them really isn’t that hard. Here are three great bits of artichoke information that I hope will get you artichoke-ing it up this spring!
1) End the intimidation. Cooking an artichoke really isn’t that hard. I swear! The basic steps include tearing off the rough outer leaves and cutting off the stem. Next, lay the artichoke on its side and slice off about an inch from the top. Finally, using kitchen scissors, snip off the sharp tip of each leaf. Rub it all over with half a lemon, then drop it into boiling water or steam it in a steamer tray for 30 to 40 minutes. Read more detailed cooking instructions, and a yummy meal-for-one artichoke recipe here.
2) Make artichoke anything! Artichokes make a great dip, pizza topping, pasta addition and more. Many recipes call for jarred or frozen artichokes, but after using the cooking method above, you can always substitute fresh steamed or boiled artichoke for a much fresher flavor. Here’s a recipe for a yummy artichoke-rosemary tart with a polenta crust. Substitute fresh artichoke for frozen.
3) Remember how good it is for you. Did you know that artichokes are among the spring superfoods? Packed with antioxidants (more than any other fresh food according to the USDA), potassium, vitamin C, folate and fiber, artichokes are also a low-calorie treat at only 25 calories each. Read about four other spring superfoods.