Tuesday, May 19

The Art of the 'Choke ~ How to Clean an Artichoke

Artichokes or carciofi are a sure sign of spring & are filling the shelves of the frutta & vedure or fruit & vegetable markets here in Italy! Don’t be put off by the time it takes to clean these edible flowers - it’s easier than you think. Remember that artichokes oxidize very quickly & will turn black - so every point you put a knife to, MUST be rubbed down with lemon.

How to Clean an Artichoke:

Start with a big bowl of cold water. Juice one lemon into the bowl & toss in the juiced lemon into the bowl.

Trim the stem of the artichoke so there is about an inch to an inch and half remaining. Rub the cut end with lemon.

Peel off the tough outer leaves of the artichoke until you arrive at the pale, soft inner leaves.

Using a pairing knife, peel the stem until the light green flesh is revealed. Be careful not to cut too much off. Rub the entire stem & cut portion with lemon.

Trim the top of the artichoke so there is about an inch of leaves remaining. Rub the cut portion with lemon.

Cut the artichoke in half. With a small spoon remove the fuzzy choke in the middle, leaving the soft flesh underneath. Rub down with lemon & toss into the bowl with lemon water.

You’re done! Now how easy was that, seriously?!

Here’s a great recipe that we love to serve here as an antipasta when fresh artichokes are in season: Maria’s Artichokes
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