When you think of artichokes, what comes to mind? Some people may think "ugh, spiky" or "too much trouble, not worth it" or simply just "ow." It’s true; this relative of the thistle family does not seem to want to be eaten, with barbs at the end of each tough, outer leaf, and sharp little hairs on the inside (aka "the choke") that, if one isn’t careful, just scatter all over the kitchen countertop or floor. Never mind those warnings of "piso mojado" telling you to watch your step at the pool — there could be spikes on the floor of your kitchen!
Artichokes are kind of like the oysters of the vegetable world in that way; lots of risk for seemingly little reward. But encased in that tough, protective outer covering is a hidden jewel of eating nirvana that is oh so amazing. And so people love them anyway. Besides, if you’ve ever enjoyed an oyster without having to shuck it yourself, you know that if someone else is doing the work, it doesn’t really matter how much toil and trouble went into delivering that tiny morsel of goodness.
Obviously, however, unless you are using canned or frozen hearts, you'll need to get the job done. And with our step-by-step guide on how to trim an artichoke, it's really not that bad. Go ahead, don't be shy — check it out! There are also some great shopping and cooking tips, too.
Now that you have artichoke hearts sitting in some acidulated water, it's time to start cooking them. So check out what The Daily Meal editorial staff is cooking up this week with artichokes! And also, we have an extra special treat from the Culinary Content Network: Lyndsy Hassett has generously offered to share with us her posts for a steamed artichoke recipe as well as a light artichoke-spinach dip, so don't miss out on those either!
Will Budiaman is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman.