Everything you wanted to know about cooking artichokes

The artichoke is a year-round plant, but the season is March-April and September-October. Spring artichokes are more rounded in shape with less open inflorescences, autumn artichokes are more elongated and more open. Large buds grow at the end of the stem, as they receive a lot of light and sun, and the “kids” grow in the shade. Tiny artichokes weigh nothing, they used to be sold only frozen and pickled, now you can buy fresh. How to choose artichokes A fresh artichoke has smooth green leaves that “squeak” when pressed. Scars and scratches on the kidneys do not at all indicate that the artichoke is not fresh – they can form as a result of not very careful transportation. Fresh artichokes always weigh more than their appearance suggests. The sweetest artichokes are winter ones, “kissed” by the first frost. Artichoke leaves are not used in cooking. How to store artichokes Moisten the artichokes with water, place in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator or vegetable basket for up to 2 weeks. How to cook artichokes Artichokes can be steamed, fried, stewed, and grilled. Pastas, casseroles, vegetable stews and artichoke risotto come out very juicy. Artichokes can be used to make purees and salads. Store-bought frozen artichokes are best used in very spicy dishes. Foods to pair with artichokes – oils: olive oil, butter, hazelnut oil, hazelnut oil; – herbs and spices: tarragon, chervil, thyme, sage, rosemary, garlic, dill; – cheeses: goat cheese, Ricotta, Parmesan; – fruits: lemon, orange; – vegetables and legumes: potatoes, shallots, mushrooms, beans, peas. Nuances When cooking artichokes, always use a stainless steel knife and utensils; iron and aluminum will cause artichokes to lose their color. If you use foil when cooking artichokes, make sure it does not come into contact with the artichokes. When carving artichokes, rub lemon juice over the cut. Place the peeled artichoke pieces in a bowl with lemon juice diluted in water (3-4 tablespoons of juice per 250 ml of water). To keep the color of the artichokes while boiling, add 2 teaspoons of flour and 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the water. If you don’t like the smell of cooking artichokes, add bay leaves to the pot. Artichoke cleaning 1) With a sharp knife, cut off the stem and top of the artichoke (about 1/3) to expose the core. 2) Remove the lower outer leaves, which have a tough structure. Carefully remove any leaves that are badly damaged or brown. 3) From each sheet, cut off the upper part with scissors (by 1/3), it is not eaten. 4) Rinse the artichokes thoroughly under running water. Make sure that there is no dirt between the leaves. 5) With half a lemon, grease all sections of the leaves so that they do not darken. 

How to eat artichokes 1) Artichokes are eaten with the hands. 2) The leaves are torn off one at a time, the fleshy base is dipped in the sauce, and then quickly pulled between the teeth to remove the tender part. The inedible part of the leaf is placed on the edge of the plate. 3) With a knife, carefully cut off the inedible part from the core of the artichoke. 4) The tender “heart” of the artichoke is dipped into the sauce and eaten with pleasure. Source: realsimple.com Translation: Lakshmi

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