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All Choked Up: The Surprisingly Versatile Artichoke

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by Sara Jenkins
from Fine Cooking #104, p. 70-75

Artichokes are strange beasts. Prickly and thorny on the outside but smooth, soft, and buttery inside, they have a subtly sweet, earthy flavor. As a child, I found it endlessly fascinating to slowly eat a whole steamed artichoke, peeling off each leaf and dragging my teeth over it in eager anticipation of the glorious heart that lay at the center. Later, in Italy, I learned to appreciate artichokes raw, dipped in salt and a little olive oil or shaved in a salad with Parmigiano and spicy arugula. That versatility is what I love about artichokes. Well, that and all their different forms, from hearts and bottoms to baby artichokes and large ones. These recipes run with all those options, proving again and again how delicious these beastly thistles really are.

Quick-Braised Baby Artichokes with Garlic, Mint, and Parsley Shaved Baby Artichokes with Lemon, Arugula, and Parmigiano
Quick-Braised Baby Artichokes with Garlic, Mint, and Parsley   Shaved Baby Artichokes with Lemon, Arugula, and Parmigiano
Steamed Artichokes with Tarragon-Mustard Vinaigrette Artichoke, Leek, and Taleggio Frittata
Steamed Artichokes with Tarragon-Mustard Vinaigrette   Artichoke, Leek, and Taleggio Frittata
Artichoke Bottoms with Shrimp, Lemon Butter, and Herbed Breadcrumbs Artichoke
Artichoke Bottoms with Shrimp, Lemon Butter, and Herbed Breadcrumbs   Learn more about artichokes and how to clean and trim them.

Photos: Scott Phillips

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