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Market Haul

Market Haul: Artichokes

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Don't be intimidated — artichokes are much easier to work with than they seem.

It seemed like a good idea at the farmers' market, but the first time I purchased fresh artichokes, an overwhelming sense of buyer's remorse soon followed. Back at home, I stood over the cutting board — knife in one hand, bulbous green globe in the other — unsure of what to do next.

With their thick, thorny leaves, artichokes can seem intimidating to the home chef, but I needn't have been so nervous. Once you get the hang of working with them, they are extremely easy to prepare. The meaty leaves and tangy hearts are beautifully flavorful and unexpectedly versatile. Artichokes are also extremely high in antioxidants.

How to Choose It
A firm, green artichoke is the way to go. Look for one whose leaves are closed; open leaves indicate that it may be too ripe. Avoid artichokes with dark spots on the leaves or stem.

How to Use It
The most basic way to cook an artichoke is to steam it. They can also spice up a simple antipasto salad. And of course, there's always the ever-popular spinach artichoke dip.

How to Store It
If you're not going to cook your artichoke right away, slice off the bottom of the stem and sprinkle the stump with water. Refrigerate in an airtight plastic bag and cook within a week.

What's your favorite way to cook and use an artichoke? Share in the comments below!

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About the Author
Amy Gordon
Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon is a Wharton graduate who prefers flip flops to business suits. She writes about travel, food, wellness, and social consciousness.

  • Barbara K. 5 years ago
    It might seem basic but you should also add a note on how to eat artichokes. I had a friend over for dinner and didn't know she had never had an artichoke. Found out fast when she started choking!!
  • Vickie W. 5 years ago
    When preparing my artichokes, I cut them in half before I cook them and then scrape out all the "choke" part with a sharp knife. I steam them until just tender and then place them in the fridge. Then, when it's time for dinner, I brush on a little olive oil (lemon flavored olive oil is devine), sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and grill them until heated through. Yummmmm.........
  • Christine B. 5 years ago
    Favorite dinner that my husband cooks me before a run is steamed artichokes with lemon and lemon chicken.
  • Carl S. 5 years ago
    i make them w/ a stuffing mix most of the time & always cook them in chicken broth & lemon
  • Carl S. 5 years ago
    i make them w/ a stuffing mix most of the time & always cook them in chicken broth & lemon
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