The second time I ate a whole artichoke was at Christmas when I was a teenager. My aunt used to steam them and serve you your own personal artichoke with a little dish of butter to dip the leaves in.
The third time I ate an artichoke... they were on sale at the grocery store so I bought two and decided to make one stuffed like at Carmine's and one steamed and dipped in butter like my aunt does.
This is the tale of making artichokes two ways and having a dinner completely made of artichokes.
- 2 artichokes
- parmesan cheese
- shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- olive oil
- melted butter
Start by cutting off the top and the pointy tips of each leaf:
You will also need to shorten the stem to just one inch and peel off the ring of small, sturdy leaves at the base of the artichoke.
Place the artichokes cut side down in a few inches of water inside a large pot:
Steam for about 40 minutes until artichokes are tender:
Let's start with the stuffed artichokes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. For these you'll need to first cut the artichoke in half and remove the inner "choke." I had no idea what this was when I decided to make these. It took a few artichoke how-to sites to help me out. The "choke" is the furry part I am pointing to with a fork below. Remove this and those purple-ish leaves, but be careful not to remove the delicious artichoke heart that is right below!
Then cut each half in half again so that you have quarters. Sprinkle with chopped garlic, bread crumbs, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, then drizzle each with a bit of olive oil:
Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. While these are cooking, feel free to eat the other steamed artichoke by peeling each leaf off one at a time, dipping in a tiny bit of butter, and scraping the bottom half of the leaf against your teeth to get at the flesh. If you haven't ever eaten an artichoke like this, come over and I'll cook one for you, because it's not easy to explain.
Eat the stuffed artichokes the same way, getting some stuffing in with each leaf.