OK, so OCD and eating artichokes is a definite conundrum. But I have been happily dealing with the mess since I was a little girl. Here in California, they are easy and cheap to get- and this little beauty was locally grown, to boot! Thus, I indulge in the messy temptation now and again
and then head straight to the soap and water.
All you need is however many artichokes you want to make, olive oil, and Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Of course, you can make your own crumbs seasoned with oregano, basil, and parsley to taste (I like lots of all), a dash of salt, and white or black pepper. The mini artichokes work nicely, too.
Cut the sharp tips off the leaves with a knife or kitchen scissors, as well as the stem so it is as flush to the bottom as possible- it will still wobble, but that’s part of the artichoke’s charm. Wash the choke well. If you have a pull out sprayer on your faucet, hold the choke upside down, spreading the leaves gently, and rinse so the water flows back out. If not, no biggie… just wash, flooding between the leaves and tipping the water out a few times.
Using a shallow bowl or plate to catch the mess, drizzle olive oil between the leaves, then stuff your bread crumbs in as much or little as you want.
Stand the artichoke on its bottom in a pot, and cover and steam on low-simmer on the stove for about 40 minutes, or until the leaves pull off easily. Best to use a steamer basket with the water just touching the bottom of the artichoke, but if you don’t have a basket, use about an inch of water, checking every 15 minutes to make sure it doesn’t all boil off.
When it’s cool enough to handle but still warm, pull the leaves off one at a time and scrape between your teeth. Once you get to the inner soft leaves, you can eat them whole. They will be very light in colour and thin. The thick ones will choke you. There’s a joke in there, but I shall refrain. Cut the remaining fuzzy stuff off to find the heart inside. The heart can be eaten then and there, or used elsewhere (in a salad or on pizza) within 3 or 4 days.
Mangiare e divertirsi!