- 4 artichokes
- 1 fresh garlic bulb
- crushed red pepper, optional
- salt, optional
Peel and slice thin one garlic clove (two if small cloves) per artichoke. To remove skin off of clove easily: Separate clove for garlic bulb and place on the cutting board. Press down on clove with a flat sandwich spreader or a wide knife (but be careful). When you hear a light pop the skin has separated and will easily peel away. Poke slices of garlic randomly between the leaves of the artichoke, pressing towards the heart. Be careful, there are pricklies on the ends of each leaf. You do not need to cut these off, once they are cooked it is tender. Trust me, I have never been injured by an artichoke. Add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper at this time if you wish.
Place all four artichokes into a large 8 qt. pot filled halfway with lightly salted water. Bring water to a boil then turn down heat so that the water remains at a low simmer. Cover pot and cook for 1 hour.
To test for tenderness pull out a leaf. If it comes away from the artichoke easily, they are ready to eat.
To eat artichokes, pull off individual leaves and scrape leaf between teeth to remove the soft pulp near the bottom of the leaf. I love this part, it may seem odd if you have never eaten one. Then discard the leaf. As you get near the center, the leaves become more tender and a greater portion of each leaf is edible. When you are near the center, remove any remaining leaves, and you'll see a fuzzy thing called a choke. It looks like little thin prickles. Do not eat this part it is not edible. Scrape it off with a knife or spoon and discard. Under the choke is the heart which is the best part of the artichoke, cut it into pieces and enjoy!
The big difference you will see in my recipe is that I cook them longer than most and it is not served with a dipping sauce. Mine are so tender they just fall apart, I hate a tough artichoke. There is no need to dip it, it is best left plain. With my recipe you will get what I call the bonus bite every so often. A little slice of garlic on the leave, make sure you eat the garlic too.