Confession: Even as an experienced cook, I sometimes find artichokes daunting. Forget to drop the raw, freshly cut vegetable into lemon water during preparation and it quickly turns brown. Stop paying attention while cutting off the pointy end of the leaves, and get pricked. And then there’s the choke, that little hairball at the center of the green globe. Don’t scrape it all out and, well, it ain’t called the choke for nothing.
Having said that, artichokes are rewarding. I love them simply steamed, the leaves dipped in melted butter, vinaigrette or aioli. The hearts are sublime, a delicious prize once you’ve worked your way through the rest.
Artichoke season is fleeting, and it happens to be now. So if you’re interested in tackling this delicious-if-daunting spring vegetable, here are some recipes that will help.
Liza Schoenfein is food editor of the Forward. Contact her at email@example.com or on Twitter, @LifeDeathDinner