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anatomy of an artichoke

June 30, 2010

I’m not entirely sure whether or not “to heart” an artichoke is a real phrase, but I used it when talking to Mr. KC and he thought I had reverted to some type of “OMG, LOLz, BFF” language.  “I’m hearting the artichoke” does sound like a rather 13-year old way of saying that artichokes rule.  And while artichokes do rule, I was actually just saying that I was cutting up the artichoke to get to the heart.

Last weekend’s salad forced me to face the fact that I had never disassembled an artichoke before to use the heart in cooking.  The temptation of Ottolenghi’s recipe was enough to make me face this head on and just follow the instructions in his recipe, however vague they seemed.  What I really wanted was a photo step-by-step and my thorough, 5-second Google search didn’t yield anything, so I decided to do my own.  Whether I did this totally wrong or not, the result was lovely artichoke hearts (with maybe a rogue rough leaf still attached) that complemented the salad beautifully.  If you’re reluctant to heart artichokes yourself, I hope this helps.  After all, everyone should heart artichokes.

KC note: Not pictured here is the half lemon that I kept near by to rub on each of the cuts that I made.  Artichokes brown badly and quickly, so make sure to keep up with it or you’ll end up with brown hearts after all that effort.  No one wants that.

First, I cut off the stem. Easy enough.

Then I'm supposed to peel off leaves until I get to the heart. Hmm, how do I know? I didn't. So I just stopped once the leaves weren't really all that green any longer.

Then I do this and I don't know why. It didn't say to do this in the directions, but I couldn't help myself. This doesn't do anything other than offer you a sneak peek inside.

And then I decided to follow the instructions again, which told me to cut it in half. Okay.

And then I cut out the artichoke "hairs" and purple tough leaves

Once this is done, I go over the artichoke heart once more just to make sure that didn't leave any tough bits.. I then put it in a bowl of water to rinse off and wait for its other artichoke friends.

That’s it!  Sure, it’s a little extra effort, but I think the pay off of a nice fresh artichoke heart is well worth it.  Hope you will too.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 30, 2010 2:07 pm

    An artichoke has never seemed so beautiful!

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