After thirty some years living in the Golden State, I finally steamed my first head of artichoke last Friday. Now that I have tasted it, I think artichoke is the next best thing to... well, to all the vegetables I like. I grew up eating some but my parents were the ones who prepared them and I don't think I appreciated the taste back then as much as I appreciate it now.
However, I also found out there are many ways to prepare and eat artichoke - depends on who you ask, an Italian or a Chinese or a Mexican... It doesn't really matter though, it tastes good no matter how one prepares the vegetable.
My first try was by way of steaming: I steamed the artichokes with water and white vinegar for 45 minutes and enjoyed the vegetable just the way it was. Then I tasted it again with olive oil and melt butter - it was heaven!
My friend just gave me three artichokes last night so I decided to cook it in water this time, as that's the way she does - with a little olive oil, a clove of chopped garlic and half of an lemon juice.
These are home grown artichokes from my friend's garden. Don't they look lovely? They are edible flower buds actually. The avocados are also gifts from another friend's garden. We are so blessed!
This time I tried the boiling instead of steaming method and find out it took just about the same amount of time. It has a pleasant aroma, must be of the olive oil?
After 45 minutes of boiling.
This is how I eat my artichokes. Peel off the petals and sank my teeth into them and "scrape" the meat off the petals. The ones closer to the heart has more meat than the outer petals.
Usually there are "hair" around the heart but this little one did not have any. It was the smaller and pointier type. The round looking ones seems to have lots of hair...