I love food that’s a project to eat. I hate taking an hour to prepare something that takes 5 minutes to inhale. And then another hour to clean up.
The ultimate project food is an artichoke. It’s super simple to prepare and when finished, you can plop down in front of the TV and peel the leaves, scraping the flesh off each one with your teeth while working your way toward the prize at the center: the artichoke heart. If you’ve never had a freshly steamed artichoke heart, you are sorely missing out. That pickled, fibrous jarred crap doesn’t even come close.
When I was little we used to dip the leaves in butter or mayo (it tastes a lot better than it sound), but now much older and wiser, and to avoid turning a deliciously healthy veggie into a vehicle for saturated fat, I prepare it using my special, calorie-free ingredient:
Preparing and Steaming an Artichoke
Pick an artichoke that is full and green, with very little purple or brown on the outside. Wash the artichoke as dirt tends to settle between the leaves. Snip off the spikey, pokey tops of the leaves and slice off the stem so it sits flat.
Fill a pot with a lid with a few inches of water and add the secret ingredient: garlic. Just add a teaspoon or so of minced garlic to the water and the flavor steams in.
Put in a steaming basket and pop in the choke. Cover, and boil for 40-50 minutes. You know it’s done when the outer most leaves peel off with little effort.
Remove a few of the outer leaves as they tend to be a little tough. To eat the leaves, just peel and scrape off the flesh with your teeth. As you peel, the leaves will get thinner and eventually turn paper thin. At this point (pictured), pull off the rest of the leaves to expose the dreaded “hair.”
Note the boy preparing chicken while I munch away. He spoils me. Or distrusts me with raw meat.
The hair is inedible, it’ll stick on your throat, so use a spoon to scrape out all off. I use a grapefruit spoon with sharp teeth at the end. If I did the dishes. After you remove the hair, all that is left is the holy grail: the heart.
The entire heart is edible, so bite on in, and enjoy!
See more noms:
It’s Food, Not Rocket Science: A Little Love for Leftovers
Jacked Up Morning
Chia Goodness and a Workout