For a person who has no experience with cooking artichokes, this endeavor can seem like a real ordeal. In fact, there is nothing that complicated and if you follow certain steps, the very first attempt will have wonderful results.
March 16 is artichoke day in the USA, so let's see how to prepare it as deliciously as possible.
You need a large knife, scissors, enameled pot - in aluminum or metal pots the artichoke darkens, a colander, a kitchen towel and a spoon. Prepare an artichoke and a lemon per person.
The basic tips for cooking artichokes step by step starts with cleaning it. Cut off the top 1/3 of the artichoke so that the core is visible. Cut off the stem and outer leaves, if there are any damaged leaves - remove them as well.
From each leaf, cut off the top part with scissors - it is not used for eating. Wash the artichoke well, by making sure not to get any dirt between the leaves. Apply half a lemon to the leaves where you cut them so they don't darken.
Pour water into the pot and boil it. Put the whole amount of artichokes in a colander with the roots facing up. Place the colander over boiling water for about 30-40 minutes.
To preserve the color of the artichoke while the water is boiling, pour lemon juice into it - 4 tablespoons per liter of water. To check if an artichoke is ready, remove one using a cloth.
Pull a leaf and if it comes off easily, the artichoke is ready. If you are going to serve a cold artichoke dish, you should remove the colander from the boiling water and submerge it in a pot of cold water.
Using a teaspoon or your fingers, remove a few leaves from the center of the vegetable. In the core you will see the fibrous part - the inner fibers of the plant, also called "hay", which is not edible and must be removed.
Artichokes are best served warm with cream sauce or olive oil poured into the core, spices such as tarragon and cumin, you can add lemon or orange juice.
The artichoke is eaten by tearing off its leaves one by one, starting with the outer ones and dipping them in the sauce. The core of the leaves is sucked out by passing it between the teeth or using a knife and fork.
When serving, do not forget to put a plate for the remains of the artichoke leaves. Bowls with water and lemon juice for washing the fingers, as well as napkins for drying, must also be placed.