I love artichokes but quite honestly my true appreciation for them came when I ate an artichoke at my mother-in-laws home. That is because my mother’s recipe is different than my mother-in-laws recipe. My mom cleans out the thistles and needles prior to cooking them. She par boils the artichokes breads and fries them. They become tiny breaded morsels that are popped into the mouth. I enjoy the unique flavor of sweet and savory. Yet, I also love the fullness of a whole artichoke appreciating and tasting each leaf by scraping off its fleshy lower portion, I eat one leaf at a time removing each leaf layer after layer and finally achieving my goal to consume the heart, but first I must remove its thistles and pins. It is a love affair on a plate!
Steamed Artichokes in Garlic and Oil
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This recipe is for six artichokes
5 nice size garlic cloves peeled and sliced.
½ of teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 to 2 tablespoon of sea salt
¼ of teaspoon of black pepper
3 Tablespoon of olive oil or enough to coat the bottom of the pot
1 lemon cut in ½
2 to 4 cups of water
1/3 cup of fresh parsley chopped
Serrated knife –or bread knife
A kitchen scissor
Cut stem off the artichoke along with cutting the tip as well. I find that it is easier using a serrated knife. Use the scissor to trim the leaf tips work your way around the entire vegetable. Also remove any discolored or bruised outside leaves. Take the ½ of lemon and rub it on the entire artichoke do this to all your artichokes placing them in cold water along with the lemons, this will prevent them from turning brown. In a large stock pot coat the bottom of the pot with olive oil and add a small handful of the sliced garlic cloves along with a pinch of red pepper flakes. Before placing the artichokes in the pot try opening them slightly.
Place the remainder of the garlic cloves inside the artichoke leaves as many or as little as you want; it’s your preference, add 1 tablespoon of salt sprinkling all over the entire pot, add the black pepper not too much I add black pepper just to balance the salt; but do add the rest of the red pepper flake. I do not fully cover the artichoke with water I add the water leaving about less than ¼ of inch exposed. At this point you can taste the water and determine if more salt is needed; if so another pinch or 2 should do the trick decide if you need to use the rest of the salt. Finally add the parsley cover the pot and bring to a gentle boil, lower the heat and let it simmer; cook until fork tender depending on the size of the vegetable they can cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour sometimes longer , but keep in mind to check often; when the leaves are fork tender, they are done.
Lastly, I also like to mention that many Artichoke recipes, artichokes are stuffed with a bread crumb stuffing and cheese, I don’t stuff mine – I feel that artichokes are usually made with a very large Sunday dinner or on holidays and stuffing only adds more calories and basically I feel to eat a stuffed artichoke is a meal in itself. To me this recipe is a much more refreshing and a lighter version. I hope you will try to make the Steamed Artichokes in Garlic & Oil for yourself and enjoy the recipe as much I do and my family does too. Feel free to leave me any comments and if you have any question don’t hesitate to ask.