Happy New Year! You might want to make a new years’ resolution to increase your cooking skills. Here is a great vegetable to start with. Artichokes can be a bit daunting to prepare. However, once you learn and try your first recipe you will impress everyone!
Artichokes are good source of fiber, vitamin C, magnesium and folate. They are low in calories, but be mindful of high calorie sauces.
First, select artichokes that are plump and have tightly closed leaves. They should be heavy for their size. Pull back one leaf to check for any black blemishes. Next, store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. Check to ensure that they are dry and not collecting water to prevent any mold from growing.
Artichokes are very versatile. Cook them on the grill, in the crockpot, in the microwave or steam in a pot on top of the stove. Choose a way that fits your cooking style.
Most people are familiar with marinated artichokes. You will find them along with marinated mushrooms on an olive tray or on top of a green salad.
Learn more about artichokes and add them to your vegetable repertoire! Here is a recipe to get your started. They are made in the oven and then put on the grill for finishing touches! The first step can be made the day before. Enjoy!
6 medium artichokes (2 artichoke halves per serving)
1 lemon, sliced
1 to 2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary, mint, basil or tarragon
18 teaspoon each salt and pepper
Rinse artichokes in cold water. With a sharp knife, cut off the top 1/3 of artichoke. Cut off just the base of the stem, leaving most of the stem in place. Turn artichokes stem side up and cut in half-lengthwise starting at the stem. With spoon or knife, scrape out the fuzzy choke in the center and discard. In saucepot, heat 3 inches of water to boiling. Add artichokes, lemon slices, garlic cloves. Return to boil, and then reduce to simmer. Cover; simmer until artichokes are just tender when base is pierced with a fork, 15 minutes to 20 minutes, depending on size.
Drain well. Combine all remaining ingredients in 9x13x2-inch glass baking dish. Add drained artichokes, cut side down. Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill. (Can be done a day ahead.)
Lift artichokes from marinade, reserving marinade, and place on grill over hot coals, cut side up. Cook until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Brush with marinade, then turn and cook until cut side is golden brown, about 10 minutes longer. Brush with marinade. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Mary Ehret is the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Supervisor in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Sullivan and Bradford counties. Reach her at 570-825-1701 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.