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What are artichokes?

Artichokes are a type of vegetable that belongs to the thistle family. They have a tough, spiky exterior and a tender, edible interior. The most commonly eaten part of the artichoke is the heart, which is located at the base of the vegetable. Artichokes are typically cooked before eating and can be prepared in a variety of ways, such as steaming, boiling, or grilling. They are rich in nutrients like fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C.

How do you cook an artichoke?

There are several ways to cook an artichoke, but one of the most popular methods is steaming. Here is a simple recipe for steamed artichokes:

  • 2 large artichokes
  • 2 lemons, cut in half
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: melted butter or aioli for dipping
  1. Rinse the artichokes under cold water and trim off the stem so that they can stand upright. Cut off the top inch or so of the artichoke to remove the prickly tips of the leaves.
  2. Squeeze the lemon juice over the artichokes, making sure to coat all surfaces.
  3. Place the artichokes in a steamer basket or a colander that fits inside a pot. Add the garlic, salt, pepper and any other seasoning you like
  4. Fill the pot with water up to the bottom of the steamer basket or colander. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low.
  5. Cover the pot and steam the artichokes for 25-30 minutes, or until the leaves can be easily pulled off.
  6. Carefully remove the artichokes from the steamer and let them cool for a few minutes before serving with melted butter or aioli for dipping.

Alternatively you can boil, grill, or roast them as well. Cooking time may vary depending on the method and the size of the artichoke.

What are some good dishes made with artichokes?

There are many delicious dishes that can be made with artichokes, here are a few popular examples:

  • Artichoke dip: A creamy dip made with chopped or pureed artichokes, mayonnaise, sour cream, parmesan cheese, and seasonings. It’s a popular appetizer that’s often served with crackers or bread.
  • Artichoke hearts salad: A salad made with marinated artichoke hearts, mixed greens, and other ingredients like tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese.
  • Pasta with artichokes: A pasta dish made with artichoke hearts, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese. It’s a simple and flavorful dish that can be made with any type of pasta.
  • Pizza with artichokes: A pizza topped with artichoke hearts, mozzarella cheese, and other ingredients like tomatoes, olives, and basil.
  • Artichoke and spinach gratin: A gratin is a French dish that is made by layering vegetables or meat with cheese and breadcrumbs and then baked. An artichoke and spinach gratin can be made by layering cooked artichokes and spinach with a creamy cheese sauce and breadcrumbs and then baking it until golden brown.
  • Artichoke and chicken casserole: A casserole is a baked dish that’s made by layering ingredients in a baking dish. An artichoke and chicken casserole can be made by layering cooked chicken, artichokes, and a creamy sauce in a baking dish and then topping it with cheese and breadcrumbs before baking.

These are just a few examples of the many delicious dishes that can be made with artichokes, you can get creative and come up with your own recipe.

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