How-To: The Artichoke
This step-by-step guide shows you how to trim an artichoke.
When you go to the store or the farmers' market, make sure the artichoke makes a squeaking sound when you press it together. It should also have very few brown spots. If the artichoke doesn't squeak or looks brown and leathery, don't buy it. It won't be good! You're better off eating something else.
Before cutting the artichoke prepare a bowl of water with lemon juice in it. This will keep the artichoke pieces from browning as you go through the steps.
If this is your first time dealing with an artichoke just keep in mind that you have to get rid of a lot of the plant to get to the good stuff.
Step 1: Cut off the top - about 2/3rds of the artichoke. Make sure you have a very sharp sturdy knife.
Step 2: Cut off the hard leaves around the outside.
Step 3: Cut off about 1/2 inch from stem.
Step 4: Use a paring knife to peel the hard layer from the outside of the stem.
Step 5: Cut the artichoke in half. Dip one half in the lemon water.
Step 6: Cut the half in half so you have access to the choke.
Step 7: With a spoon remove the fuzzy choke covering the heart.
When finished, place the hearts in the lemon water and repeat steps 6 and 7 with the other half of the artichoke.
You have officially conquered the artichoke. It's now ready to be steamed, roasted, and used in recipes.