About once a year I buy an artichoke on impulse, and when I get it home am immediately gripped by fear about how to cook it. They are scary things if you don’t have them about your person very often.
But the recipe I have now christened “Fay Wray’s Way” is a winner. I have followed this method once before and remember thinking, “this is the way to do it”, but for some reason, I didn’t write about it on the blog. I hereby put it on the record. If you like eating artichokes but are scared of cooking them, this one is for you.
So it’s simplicity itself really. I don’t bother trimming the tips of the leaves, some recipes say to do this, some don’t. I am lazy and always looking for shortcuts so I leave the tips be. Likewise, I didn’t slice the top off, as many recipes tell the cook to do. As my artichoke was tall I had to use a fairly big saucepan so I nestled the beast in some scrunched-up foil to keep it upright.
I had a jar of minced black garlic so I put a hefty dollop of that in the lemony, vinegary steaming water (another shortcut and no garlic press to wash up). As my artichoke was quite a biggie, 45 minutes was perfect on a medium heat with a lid on the saucepan.
Fay serves these to guests, but for me, an artichoke is a perfect super-indulgent treat for one. I ate this standing up by the cooker with the leaves dipped mayonnaise. Slattern!
Eating one of these on your own is such a pleasure. You don’t have to worry about what you look like scraping bits off the leaves with your bottom teeth. You can pick and choose which leaves you want to eat and which you can discard, it’s your artichoke!
There is always a moment of wonder when you get to to the middle and find all this fluffiness there. Don’t eat this! Remove all the fluff stuff with a teaspoon and you’ll have the heart of the artichoke left. This you can eat (and the stalk too so I have heard tell, but I never get around to that).
Here’s a good blow-by-blow account if you are still slightly afeared of cooking and/or eating artichokes, but I do recommend treating yourself some time. You will feel like the Queen of Sheba with one to your very own self! You can dip the leaves in butter or vinaigrette if you prefer.
If you fancy doing something more elaborate with artichokes I can heartily recommend the Brigitte Bardot Stuffed Artichokes. They were something special.
Brigitte Bardot and Fay Wray are not scared of artichokes and neither should we be!