0 Steamed Artichokes with Garlic & Shallot Compound Butter

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Artichokes might be one of my absolute favorite veggies of all time.


bay leaf
crushed garlic cloves (2-3)

First I start by snipping off the thorny ends.  You don't strictly have to, but it's the traditional way to prepare it.  They won't hurt you if you don't, because they soften after steaming.  But I do it anyway.  I also trim off the very end of the stem if it's a little stale/woody (I love to eat the stems too, by the way.)

Then rinse the 'chokes under some cold water, and place into a steaming basket in a large pot with a couple inches of water.  Throw in the bay leaf and garlic into the water.

Cover and bring to a full, rolling boil, and then turn flame down to simmer and steam for about 30-45 minutes.  They are done when the outer leaves peel off easily.

Now, for the compound butter.  Of course, do this while the 'chokes are steaming.

You'll need:

1 clove garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
6 tbs soft butter
pepper to taste

You basically throw everything in and mix it up well.

*Ding!*  It's time to eat your lovely artichokes!  

Peel off the outer leaves and dip the fleshier, whiter end (that was attached at the bottom) into the compound butter, one at a time (so that the entire thing stays warm.)  

Hold the end firmly, and scrape the petal (dip, and soft-side down) against your bottom teeth.  Sorry, I don't have any pictures of this, but trust me.  Continue until all the petals are mostly gone, until you get to the prickly ones.  Pull off those straight up and off, and you'll see the actual "choke" which looks like tiny fine hairs.  For God's sake, do not throw this away.  Gently scrape those off leaving the luscious and famed artichoke heart.  Dip that into your butter and enjooooy.  Oh, yummy, yummy, yum!

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