I've never before had an artichoke. We just don't grow or import them in Russia (at least I've never seen them in a store). So once we arrived to Sandpoint I already had a list of things I wanted to get in a grocery store and taste them as soon as possible. An artichoke was on that list. So here is my new green friend. I looked up different recipes online and came up with the simplest plan - I was going to steam it! First of all I had to get rid of the very sharp thorns on the ends of the leaves. After that I chopped off the tip and the stem of the artichoke. This was not easy.. maybe it was just my blunt knife..
Then I just rinse the artichoke in cold water and put it in a steaming pot. I added garlic, lemon and bay leaves to water for a better taste. It took my artichoke 40 minutes (depends on how big your artichoke is) to become tender and the leaves to be pulled off easily. This is what it looked like after steaming:
And this is my result! But...
...this last photo is a little lie. Not intentionally of course. But it was my first ever-ever artichoke so I had no idea how to cook or eat it before. But the moment this picture was taken I was sure this is what you want to eat. But the truth is the edible part is the one I was holding with my fingers! You dip the white and thick part of a leaf in melted salty butter and eat it - not the green and dry part! :-) And when you are done with all the leaves you find a furry center of the artichoke - get rid of all the fur and enjoy the artichoke heart! It took us a while to figure that out.. Bon appetite!