Bill and I have posted quite a few meals on Instagram showing artichokes as a side dish. Many of you requested that we share our tips for cooking artichokes, because you don’t know what to do with them. After months of promising we would do it, here it is!
I grew up eating steamed artichokes. They were always a favorite vegetable of mine, always served steamed with a side of melted butter, and the heart was always the special prize that everyone had to share. The past year and a half I haven’t had the appetite I used to. A lot of foods that I always loved just weren’t appealing to me, and most things grossed me out when I would try to eat them. I’ve found out recently that this may have been because we had a slow gas leak in our house basically the whole time we lived here…yeah. umm. crazy. Did I mention natural gas exacerbates symptoms of an illness you may have, causes mood issues, nausea, and headaches? No bueno. More on that soon, I promise.
Anyway, now that the gas leak is fixed my appetite seems to be slowly coming back, yay! One of the foods that kept me going during that time were steamed artichokes. It was something green that I still really enjoyed eating, so we have eaten a ton of them! I did find out recently that I have mold toxicity. That was one test I did with my new doctor, Dr. Nori Onishi, and he thinks it’s the main thing that is causing my body (and mind) so much stress. Dr. Onishi treats A LOT of patients with mold illness, so I’m in good hands. It made a lot of sense when we realized that the anxiety issues I developed started in our previous house which had a TON of water damage, sewer issues, and flooded at least twice when we lived there-yikes. We loved that house when we lived there (mostly because the yard was insanely awesome), little did we know it was making me feel crazy. Bill also had sinus infections and colds every few months in that house. We just didn’t have a clue at the time. Live and learn, I guess. I’m treating that too, so between that and a fixed gas leak, it should only be up from here, and I’ve been improving, so yay! Bill read recently that artichoke leaf extract helps eliminate mold from the body, so it’s kind of funny that I had been craving artichokes for so long! Just another sign to listen to your body when it’s trying to tell you something! Pretty cool.
We actually tried growing them last year, but that didn’t work out too well. It just looked like we had ginormous dandelions growing from our backyard raised bed. (The two giant spiky looking things in the center of the bed) Can’t say we didn’t try! 😉
I can understand why artichokes look really intimidating. They basically look like a large green succulent, and if you aren’t careful when you grab them, the tiny spike on each leaf will feel like a needle in your hand. Ouch! They are actually really easy to prepare, and we are going to show you how we do it!
The first thing you want to do is prepare a steamer pot. You can use just a regular sauce pot, and put a collapsable steamer basket in it, but the artichokes we have been getting at Whole Foods are so huge, that we like using this steamer pot set that we got as a wedding gift. It’s the best!
The next step is to prepare the artichoke for steaming. I always rinse it, because I just always rinse vegetables and fruit. If you want to get super fancy, you can use our favorite non-toxic cleaning product, Branch Basics to wash your produce before consuming. Clean food is always a good idea.
After cleaning the artichoke you want to cut the stem and the top off for steaming. This is how my mom taught me to do it, so it’s how I do it. I cut the stem pretty close to the base of the artichoke, and then cut a third of the top off.
After that, I trim the little spikes off of the leaves.
Then the artichoke goes in the steamer pot top-side down.
Cover and steam until you can easily insert a knife into the base where the stem was. This can take anywhere from 25-45 minutes depending how how large the artichoke is. Also, make sure you check on it if you have a large artichoke that takes a while. We’ve forgotten about it a few times, and ended up burning our pot when the water runs out. Eeek! (Definitely plan to add enough water for 45 minutes of steaming, at least 1″ in the bottom of the pot, if not a little more.)
To eat the artichoke we always serve it with melted ghee and pink Himalayan salt.
Just melt the ghee down, sprinkle with mineral rich pink salt, and pour it into a little dish to serve.
Once the artichoke is finished, place it top-side up on a plate, and serve with the side of ghee for dipping.
To eat it, just simply pull off a leaf, and dip the end with all the meat on it into the ghee, and bite down and scrape the meat off with your bottom teeth.
As you make your way through the artichoke, the leaves closest to the center will be pretty thin, and not worth trying to eat. Then you will have reached the choke. This is the final frontier, and then you have made it to the most magical part…the heart!
I just scoop the choke out with a spoon, and then we break the heart in half to share. Just like with the leaves, dip in the ghee and enjoy!
That’s it! It’s super easy, and a great side dish or even an appetizer. Instead of ghee you could also enjoy it with a creamy aioli! Yum!