A true artichoke is the blossom bud of a thistle-like plant. The most common type is globe artichokes. While artichokes are accessible all year, they are at their peak in late April.
The outer leaves, inner leaves, stem, heart, and choke are all parts of the artichoke. To prepare, the outer leaves that are damaged or tough are removed. Stalk or stem should be twisted off. Eliminate the artichoke’s top third. Remove the coarse leaves and hairy choke from the artichoke after cooking it in water (with lemon juice). The inner leaves can be dipped in melted butter or a sauce; the fleshy portion can then be scraped out with your teeth and the leaf discarded.
The artichoke’s heart is its most sensitive component. On the stock, a cluster of tiny buds develops and is sold as baby artichokes. They, including the choke, can be fried and consumed whole. Cans and jars of marinated artichokes hearts are available. Artichokes, whether canned or marinated, are frequently used in salads, appetizers, and main courses, as well as on an antipasti platter. The sensitive bottom of the artichoke has been stripped of its leaves and fuzzy choke. The heart or bottom is represented by the flat disk.
- Concentrate on compact heads that are olive green in color and free of discoloration or withered leaves. They are available practically year-round in the produce area, but are at their peak from late spring to early fall.
- Artichokes should be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and kept dry. They will keep for up to a week in this state. Artichokes that have been canned or jarred should be consumed within the expiration date indicated on the can or jar.
- Avoid discoloration by cooking the artichokes in stainless steel or glass. Cook until a knife tip can be inserted into the bottoms.
- To minimize discoloration, cook fresh artichokes in boiling water infused with lemon juice.