This Week’s Theme: Veggies.
Culinary Director, Daniel Gritzer, of Serious Eats, demonstrates several approaches to prepping the thorny artichoke, pictured here with its top chopped off revealing its circular pattern of leaves. Notice how the colors change as you go inward from green to yellow to purple. Fascinating.
About artichokes he states:
Everything about the artichoke—the edible flower bud of a plant in the thistle family—suggests that it doesn’t want to be eaten. How else to explain the armor-like petals, [technically, they’re bracts, not petals] prickly thorns, and throat-clogging choke? It’s enough to scare off even the most intrepid cook.
But the reality is that preparing artichokes is easy as long as you know how to go about it.
While Daniel presents a variety of prepping techniques, he states:
I’ll be frank: When I steam an artichoke, I don’t go through all of this trouble. I just cut off the top, then steam the thing and eat it. But some folks prefer a slightly more polished presentation, including removing the thorns from the leaf ends and giving the artichoke an overall trim.
“The artichoke above all is the vegetable expression of civilised living, of the long view, of increasing delight by anticipation and crescendo. No wonder it was once regarded as an aphrodisiac. It had no place in the troll’s world of instant gratification. It makes no appeal to the meat-and-two-veg mentality.” ~ Jane Grigson