How to Prepare Artichokes for Cooking

There isn’t just one way of prepping artichokes for cooking.  The Italians especially have expertly manipulated this intimidating thistle in so many ways – in wedges, stewed, deep fried or even turned into pasta sauce.

Don’t stay in the dark!  You can make so many delicious recipes using artichokes.  And they’re not at all hard to prepare.  Just take a look at this easy technique.

Stuffed Artichoke

The first thing you have to remember is, artichokes oxidize once exposed to air – they turn brown.  So prepare a bowl of lemon juice so you can dip the prepped artichoke there to avoid discoloration.

You can remove it from the juice when you are ready to cook them.

Once you have the lemon juice prepared, start pulling off the small bracts located near the bottom part of the choke.  Do this by pulling them down going towards the direction of the stem.  Work your way upwards, until you have removed about 25 percent of the outer leaves.

With a sharp serrated knife, saw off the narrow top of the artichoke and discard it.  Remove about an inch to an inch and a half off the artichoke.  Rub lemon juice to the surface that has been cut to help it stay green.

Then, look inside the artichoke.  Once you see purple-hued leaves at its center, reach in and pull all the leaves together in one twisting motion.

Cut off the tips of the remaining leaves with a pair of scissors.  Remember to immediately rub all the parts that you have cut with lemon juice.

Scrape the fuzzy exposed choke with a spoon or a melon baller, making sure not one hairy bit is left, just the creamy flesh of the heart.

Create a flat bottom by neatly cutting off the stem.  This will allow the artichoke to stand up without support.

Trim off the dark green parts at the bottom of the heart with a paring knife.  Dip the artichoke in the bowl of lemon juice until you’re ready to cook.

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