MARCH 2014 ;e Costco Connection 49
each leaf between your clenched teeth, curved side
down. Do not ingest the tough exterior—it is slightly
bitter and you will be chewing it for what feels like
days. Be sure to set a discard
bowl alongside the artichokes, so leaves don’t pile
up on eaters’ plates.
Once you pull off all of
the leaves, you’ll be left with
the meaty artichoke heart,
which is surrounded by an
inedible, fuzzy center called
the choke. Cut or scoop it out
with a melon baller to enjoy
the tender, buttery and
slightly salty heart.
hearts and hearts packed in
water are ready to use right
from the jar. Add these to
pasta dishes, spread them
on top of pizza, sauté them
in olive oil and serve as a
side dish with chicken or
fish, or even throw them
into a salad.
If fun and flavor aren’t
reason enough to give artichokes a try, the nutrients and health benefits
should be convincing; one medium-size artichoke
has about 6 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.
Each is chock-full of folic acid, vitamin K, vitamin
C and antioxidants. Artichokes are a cancer- and
disease-fighting heavyweight, wrapped in a lightweight, 60-calorie package.
Don’t leave this pointy vegetable in the produce
section. These simple preparation tips will have you
incorporating savory artichokes into your family’s
meals in no time. C
Holly Brown is a Seattle-based lifestyle publisher and
Web TV host of TheBrownLounge.com.
4 firm artichokes, rinsed
12 cups of water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
2 bay leaves
¼ cup melted butter
Italian seasoning or your favorite
herb mixture to taste
Black truffle salt, sea salt or your
favorite seasoned salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
½ cup grated Parmigiano-
1 to 2 tablespoons plain or seasoned crushed bread crumbs
2 fresh lemons, sliced into wedges
for drizzling or garnish
½ cup mayonnaise for dipping
Cut the thorns of each leaf with scissors horizontally across the top, and cut
the stem off at the bottom of each artichoke with a sharp knife. It should sit
upright without wobbling.
In a large pot, bring the water, oil, salt
and bay leaves to boil over high heat.
Immerse the artichokes in boiling water,
reduce heat to medium and gently boil
for 45 to 50 minutes, until leaves are
tender and can be pulled away from
the choke with a gentle tug (taste to
Drain and plate the artichokes by removing them from the water with tongs, and
turn them upside down to release water
trapped between the leaves.
Sit the artichokes upright on a serving
platter. Use your fingers to open up the
leaves so they capture melted butter
Drizzle melted butter over the leaves.
Generously sprinkle each artichoke with
cheese and bread crumbs. Squeeze
fresh lemon over each artichoke.
Garnish the serving plate with remaining
lemon wedges, and fill a small bowl
with mayonnaise, if desired. Serve seasoned artichokes hot or at room temperature. If serving at room temperature,
wait until you’re ready to serve before
adding melted butter and seasonings.
Makes 4 to 8 servings.
The Costco Connection
Costco’s buyers work diligently to bring members
the freshest and best-tasting artichokes. Look for
fresh artichokes and jarred Kirkland Signature™
artichoke hearts at your local Costco.
By Holly Brown
DON’T LET THE ARTICHOKE’S prickly leaves,
fibrous stem and hairy heart intimidate you; artichokes are fun to eat and simple to prepare, in addition to being delicious dippers for melted butter,
seasonings and sauces. Once you know how to
approach the artichoke, you’ll enjoy its savory flavor and be rewarded after the leaves are scraped
and the heart is revealed.
Artichokes, which are members of the thistle
family, are at the peak of season in March, so this is
a great time to experience them at their freshest.
Choose artichokes that are bright olive green, firm
and heavy for their size.
Look for tightly closed
leaves. Avoid those with
browned, split or opened
leaves, a sign of over-ripe-ness, as they will be tougher
and less flavorful.
Fresh artichokes can be
refrigerated in a plastic bag
for up to five days. When
ready to cook, cut the stems
off at the base so the artichokes can sit up without
tilting over. Cut the prickly
thorns off with kitchen scissors. Rub lemon on the artichoke to keep the leaves
The simplest way to
enjoy artichokes is to boil and
serve them individually or
family style, drizzled with melted butter and topped
with seasonings, cheese and bread crumbs (see recipe). The vegetable can also be steamed, oven roasted,
cooked in the microwave, baked or grilled.
Now comes the fun part: eating it! About 20
percent of each leaf is edible. Once the artichoke is
cooked and dipped, slide the plump, meaty side of
A little effort yields
There are more than 100 varieties of
artichokes, but the French artichoke, aka the
globe or green artichoke, is the
common variety sold commercially.
Artichokes are native to the Mediterranean,
but in the U.S. 99 percent of the
annual artichoke crops are grown in California.
Ancient Greeks and Romans considered
artichokes a delicacy—and an aphrodisiac.
chokes can sit up without