Artichokes are the opposite of fast food. Because of the way they are eaten, one has to slow down and savor each bite. In today’s fast-paced world, that’s a good thing. Couple that with the fact that they’re easy to prepare and you’ve got a winner!
- Fresh artichoke
- Shredded Parmesan Cheese (or cheese or your choice)
When you’re shopping for artichokes, look for ones that have little if any brown on them. Feel several. You’re looking for one that’s heavy. The heaviness indicates it will have a lot of meat and is fresher than the lighter ones.
Artichokes have sharp points. After thoroughly washing the arichoke, use your kitchen scissors to trim off the sharp points until the artichoke looks like mine in the big picture at the top of this page. Using your fingers, spread the leaves apart to make it easy for the steam to get inside. Steam in the microwave for approximately 12 minutes. Allow to cool for 1 minute. This picture on the end of the row above shows the thoroughly cooked artichoke. Please note, however, that I steam them open side down — not up. I flipped it after it was done.
Once the artichoke is done, put on your rubber gloves, spread out the leaves, pull out the innter most leaves which are pretty plastic-like, and use a grapefruit spoon (you know, the ones with the serrated edges) or a small knife to scoop out the hairy part of the choke in the very center. Once you’re done with that task, splay out the leaves and sprinkle on your cheese. Return it to the microwave for another 30 to 40 seconds. You’re ready to serve. Garnish with something contrasting like quartered cherub tomatoes or roasted red pepper pieces.