The Awesome Artichoke

By Krista Dietrich

I did not grow up eating artichokes and never really knew anything about the funky looking prickly green food that grows in California until my boyfriend made dinner one night…now, I’m hooked!  This amazing food packs a hearty punch and can fill you up like a main course.  After doing a little research on my new favorite food, I learned that they’re actually in the thistle group of the sunflower family.  The part of the plant that we eat is the plant’s flowering bud.  They are most popular in the Mediterranean and can be cooked a variety of ways from roasting to boiling and my favorite easy weeknight trick, microwaving!  Artichokes are rich in fiber, folic acid, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K and a number of antioxidants.  Who knew healthy could be so tasty and fun to eat?  For a great weeknight side dish that kids will even enjoying experimenting with, try my easy recipe below!

Simply Delicious Artichokes

Serves 2

2 Globe Artichokes (found in any produce aisle of your grocery store)

1 pat of butter, cut into small cubes

1 clove of garlic, minced and divided

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Half of a lemon

Cut the stems off of your artichokes as well as the top ¼ of the artichoke.  Carefully loosen the artichoke’s leaves with your fingers to allow ingredients to sink deep into the bud.  Swirl 1 tablespoon of olive oil around and into each artichoke’s leaves.  Push minced garlic cloves and small cubes of butter into the leaves.  Squirt equal parts of half a lemon into the artichokes.  Season the artichokes with a dash of sea salt.  Fill a microwave-safe bowl, casserole or pie dish with one inch of water and place artichokes into the dish.  Microwave artichokes for 12 minutes and let cool for 2 minutes before removing from dish.  Pull off the artichoke’s leaves, savoring the naturally delicious meat.  Once you reach the center, carefully carve the small hairs out, discard, and enjoy the best and most flavorful part of this amazing food- the artichoke heart!


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