All throughout artichoke season, we’ve mentioned that our standard way of preparing artichokes is to just steam them, which is and isn’t true. Besides, we thought that, since we’d never cooked artichokes before joining the CSA, there might be a few people out there who are wondering how to cook these huge thistles.
As we said, we always steam them, which is true, but we don’t just steam them. Instead, we steam them using a slight modification of the technique described in our favorite cookbook (we look at a huge number of cookbooks, but this is hands-down our most useful): The Joy of Cooking, by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker.
This is one place where you can get away with bottled lemon juice. While it does give some flavor, it’s mainly there to prevent the artichokes (especially the cut parts) from discoloring. You can put other spices into the steaming liquid, and we’ve added celery seeds in the past, but the small leaves or seeds work themselves up into the leaves. If you add additional spices, you might want to tie them in a small muslin cloth to keep them in place.
Procedure in detail:
This one is so simple, it’s really not even a recipe; more of a technique, so we’ll just put in a few photos.
Obviously, if this is our standard way of preparing artichokes, we must think it’s worth five stars. It is. Even if it’s mainly because it’s the easiest way to prepare artichokes. Plus, we like that all you’re eating is artichokes, and the flavor isn’t hidden or overpowered by other flavors. We like them steamed like this so much that we often have them just plain. No melted butter, no Hollandaise, just pull off the leaves one-by-one and scrape off any flesh between your teeth.