If you were asked to eat a thistle, would you? Or would you quickly decline and hope for a more appetizing food offer? What if you are already enjoying thistle?
Friends, The artichoke!
The artichoke is actually a species of thistle and the part we enjoy (dunked in a variety of sauces!) is an edible flower bud! Any of you who are fans of this tasty flower know that enjoying it comes with decent amount of work. The “scales” that make up the bud can be scraped, usually with our teeth, for their yummy flesh and eventually once those are consumed we find ourselves at the greatest prize, the artichoke heart! These gems are in season March-May and are not longer edible once they have flowered.
The artichoke is low in calories, but high in dietary fiber and antioxidants. You can find adequate amounts of vitamin C and vitamin K and is rich in B-complex group of vitamins. Vitamin K in the diet helps limiting neuronal damage in the brain.*
One of the greatest things about the artichoke is that it is a finger food and kids love that they get to pick and scrape the flesh from the leaves! Why not add to their fun and give them a variety of sauces to dunk the piece in before they use their animalistic ways to shred the meat off the scale (Just like dinosaurs, right?)!?
It’s a pretty easy dish, here is the quick and simple way to enjoy this edible flower!
- Rinse and cut off the top inch of the artichoke and any pointy tips on the petals. (You can also pull off any small petals near the stem)
- Squeeze a lemon slice over each artichoke
- Place a steaming basket inside of a large sized pot and fill with water to just below the bottom of the basket.
- Place all artichoke, stems up, in the pot and cover with a lid.
- Bring water to a boil and steam the artichokes in the pot for roughly 30 minutes. (You will be able to push a knife through the base with ease similar to a baked potato when they are done)
Finish the dish with an aioli sauce or, even easier, a small bowl of melted butter! MMMMMMM, butter.