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.