Did you know that there are boy and girl artichokes? Girl artichokes are awfully hard to find outside of central California (because the smart Californians keep the more tender girls for themselves). But I ordered a few artichokes from Greenling last week, and lo and behold, two of the four that I ordered were actually girls.
Don’t be afraid of artichokes! They are awfully delicious and actually very easy to cook! I know they are pointy and stabby looking but that’s just to scare away lesser mortals. You and I know better, we love artichokes!
Slice off the stem and trim across the outer, tougher leaves (especially the ones that have split). This will open up the choke a bit, and give you room to add some garlic cloves if you desire to do so. Drop them in your steamer basket, add water to the pot, put the lid on it and steam the crap out of them. Or until, the leaves pull easily from the stem. If you added garlic, you can remove it and mash it with the mayonaise that you serve to dip the leaves in. Remove the leaves, dip lightly in the mayo and skim off the artichoke meat and payo with your teeth. Make sure you have an extra bowl on the table for leaf disposal!. When you get to the softer inner leaves, pull them off, remove the inner hair stuff and enjoy the heart…it’s the best part!
Want to know how to tell the difference between boys and girls? Girls have innies and boys have outies, just check the top of each plant!
Notice how the artichoke in the picture here, is a girl? Told you those Californians are tricky!!