I’ve been a little obsessed with cooking flowers these days (in case you hadn’t noticed). I even am having a pop-up dinner in 2 weeks around the theme of edible flowers! So how surprised was I to discover that artichokes were actually flowers??
The answer is very! I guess I never thought about it. Now of course I see them everywhere, blooming. That might be a Southern California thing, but it’s also true that I just never made the connection before, so I was kind of oblivious.
My favorite thing about eating whole artichoke is how messy, hands on and communal it is. It’s a lot of work for little food, but I love every minute of it! And then the minute when you get to the heart after scraping all those tough outer leaves with your teeth. Magic!
There are lots of ways to cook artichokes whole-steaming, boiling, roasting, in a slow cooker, in the microwave…
My favorite (right now) is boiling, mostly because you really get a beautiful, creamy texture all the way through, the leaves don’t get tough and dried out, and the you’re more assured that it’s cooked all the way through.
The garlic & black pepper aioli is perfect for dipping as a replacement for butter.
How do you like your artichoke?
- 4 whole artichokes
- ¾ cup cashews, soaked at least 2 hours, then rinsed and drained
- ½ cup-3/4 cup water
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dijon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon black pepper corns
- Trim the artichoke stem to 1" in length.
- Trim 1" off the top of the artichoke with a knife.
- Trim the tops of the outer leaves with a pair of scissors so the are straight across.
- Fill a large stainless-steel or enameled pot with lightly salted water; bring to boiling.
- Add whole, trimmed artichokes and return water to boiling.
- Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for about 20 to 30 minutes or until you can easily pull out a leaf from the center of an artichoke.
- To serve, cut in half lengthwise and remove inner purple leaves and soft hairy fibers.
- Drizzle with olive oil and generously season with salt and black pepper. Serve with the garlic aioli as a dipping sauce!
- Add all the aioli ingredients to a blender together and blend until smooth. Add more water if you like a thinner consistency!