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Calorie Count Blog

Easy Artichokes


By +Janice D'Agostino on Jun 01, 2012 10:00 AM in Recipes

Life is like eating artichokes; you have got to go through so much to get so little. Thomas Aloysius (Tad) Dorgan, Cartoonist

Preparing a fresh artichoke might seem a bit daunting to a novice cook. Why not let the chef in a restaurant handle all the trimming, steaming, sauce creating, and general mess? Fortunately, there are easier and cheaper ways to get to the heart of an artichoke.

Low calorie artichokes freeze better than many veggies as they retain their lovely form and delicate flavor when thawed. The only non-artichoke ingredient added to my frozen artichoke quarters prior to freezing was a little ascorbic or citric acid (Vitamin C). This naturally occurring compound passes my favorite test for packaged food - "would I use THAT ingredient if I made it myself?" Yes, as most artichoke recipes call for a bit of lemon juice. I even use it for the same reason; it keeps the artichokes from turning an unfortunate grayish color. If you need or prefer to use canned artichokes, give the hearts a quick rinse to remove sodium and any other chemical bits that are used in large scale canned food production. The BPA in cans does not pass the would you add it test, so rinse it off.

Roasted Artichoke Quarters and Banana Peppers (recipe below) is delicious with any of the following main dishes:

Fast, tender and juicy Panko Encrusted Chicken goes from your oven to the plate in 30 minutes. If you remember to set it to marinading in a zip lock bag before you leave for work in the morning, it's even faster to the oven.

Buggy's Buffalo Beef Meatloaf is pure savory goodness. if you have not tried buffalo, this is a great introduction to a very low fat meat.

Vegetarian? Caroline's Curried Tofu Spinach Salad is the perfect choice to pair with artichokes.

Try serving roasted artichokes with this simple marinated and Grilled Rosemary Chicken from DietsInReview.

Roasted Artichoke Quarters and Banana Peppers

Nutrition Analysis

Ingredients:

1 baking dish large enough to allow the artichokes to sit in one layer

1 pound bag of frozen artichoke quarters, thawed

2 well ripened banana peppers (they’ll be orange), rinsed, seeded, and cut into chunks a little smaller than the hearts.

2 T olive oil (yes, you could use a little less if you are already nearing your daily dose of fat)

6 chopped garlic cloves or a couple good well rounded teaspoons of dried garlic powder.

fresh cracked black pepper to taste

1/4 cup Panko

1 fresh lemon, cut into wedges

Preheat the oven to 375 F

Directions:

In a medium sized bowl, gently combine the thawed artichoke quarters, pepperchunks, olive oil, garlic, black pepper, and Panko.

Pour the mixture into a baking dish (glass, non-stick, or foil lined) and pop it into the oven. Ignore for at least 45 minutes. Call your Mom, check your email, do something productive. My Mom said to tell everyone "hello."

Then go check to see how they are doing. Unless your oven runs hot, they will not be browned yet. But, just in case, check them and remove if they are browned. Increase the temperature to 425 F for the final 15 minutes to crisp the artichokes even more. Give a stir so they look pretty at the table, or turn out into a pretty bowl.

Serve with lemon wedges to squish over the artichokes on your plate.

For more detailed directions, click on the title of the recipe and go straight on to the blog post.

Your thoughts...

Have you ever cooked artichokes? Do you prefer  fresh, canned, frozen, or from a jar? What is the most interesting recipe you have for artichokes? Share it with everyone here! If you would like the recipe to be considered for CC Palate, send it to me via pm. This article may be reprinted (including bio) with prior permission from the author.

 

 


Comments


I steam my fresh artichokes for about 45 minutes, or until one of the outer leaves is tender enough for me to scrape off the inside easily. Preparation: cut off the top and stem with a sharp knife.  If there are stickers on the ends of the leaves, I use kitchen shears to cut them off.  Next, I rinse the artichoke, then place it in a heavy pot with a steamer tray on the bottom, then add  about an inch of water to the pot.  The only 2 things I add are minced garlic to the top of the artichoke, and a little cider or wine vinegar.  I cover the pot, then cook with medium heat, checking once or twice to see if more water needs to be added.  At 45 minutes, I test the tenderness, and if not done, I continue to cook another 10-15 minutes, recheck, etc.  Once it is done, I let it cool in the pan for awhile, then I refrigerate and eat chilled with mayonnaise.  It's also good with butter or italian dressing. 



I live in Italy and here artichokes are used on a wide scale.

One of my favorite is : fresh artichokes. You need the big ones, then have to remove most of the outside leafs, when you get to the heart you just cut it into slices (as you would cut the gabbage). That's it, add some lemon, olive oil and a bit of black peper if you prefer. Simple and deliscious.



I only like them fresh and steamed. I just made one recently. Being in the South my family looked at me like I was eating Martian food.Laughing



This just reminded me that I have some artichokes in my fridge. I need to cook those buggers! They are one of my favorite foods. I like them best steamed and with butter to dip in (not the healthiest dipping sauce but certainly delicious). There was a recipe on here not long ago for some ginger garlic grilled artichokes... thinking of making those sometime soon too.



I grew up eating fresh artichokes and dipping the leaves in mayo.  I can't do that anymore. 

My favorite way to prep them (fresh artichokes) is to cut off most of the sharp tips and the stem. Place in a large pot with the top side facing down.  Then I take 5-10 cloves of garlic, crush them and throw them in the pot.   Cube a lemon, throw that in the pot, add some salt and pepper and water until the chokes are halfway covered or more. (Doesn't matter if they are all the way covered).  Then steam them until the outer leaves are soft and detach easily.  

This is extra bomb.com.  Love it.  If you need to you can throw a tablespoon of butter into the pot while boiling, but I don't think it's needed.



I love artichokes but am extremely lazy when it comes to them.  I ususally buy the quarted marinated hearts that come in a jar or can.

My favorite artichoke recipe featured whole steamed artichokes that had stuffing under each leaf. You'd pull a leaf off and scrape the artichoke and bit of stuffing off the leaf with your teeth.  So good but a lot of work.



Original Post by: ikinga

I live in Italy and here artichokes are used on a wide scale.

One of my favorite is : fresh artichokes. You need the big ones, then have to remove most of the outside leafs, when you get to the heart you just cut it into slices (as you would cut the gabbage). That's it, add some lemon, olive oil and a bit of black peper if you prefer. Simple and deliscious.


Yep I live in Spain and we do the same, (along with lots of other dishes hot and cold) delicious!



Original Post by: tiedyejudy

I steam my fresh artichokes for about 45 minutes, or until one of the outer leaves is tender enough for me to scrape off the inside easily. Preparation: cut off the top and stem with a sharp knife.  If there are stickers on the ends of the leaves, I use kitchen shears to cut them off.  Next, I rinse the artichoke, then place it in a heavy pot with a steamer tray on the bottom, then add  about an inch of water to the pot.  The only 2 things I add are minced garlic to the top of the artichoke, and a little cider or wine vinegar.  I cover the pot, then cook with medium heat, checking once or twice to see if more water needs to be added.  At 45 minutes, I test the tenderness, and if not done, I continue to cook another 10-15 minutes, recheck, etc.  Once it is done, I let it cool in the pan for awhile, then I refrigerate and eat chilled with mayonnaise.  It's also good with butter or italian dressing. 


I basically do mine the same way as you, BUT I use fresh lemon slices (I use about 1/4 of a lemon to rub the cut surfaces of each artichoke, then thinly slice about 1/2 lemon for each artichoke. I then add about 1/2 Tbsp olive oil for each artichoke (Don't worry too much, a lot of the oil will remain behind) and a heaping teaspoonful of fennel seeds plus several whole, peeled garlic cloves. I then cook them like you do. Once they pass the 'leaf test' I remove them from the heat, allow to cool in the water for an hour or so, remove to a rack to reach room temp, then serve and eat. I learned this recipe from a great Italian restaurant in San Francisco about 40+ years ago. They are delicious served with aioli (I make a good one with reduced fat mayo, roasted garlic and a bit of fresh lemon juice and zest. BUT these have enough flavour to eat 'as is' without any dip at all. I make these nearly once each week during artichoke season. I will have to check into techniques for freezing artichokes, I didn't think that was possible. It would be great to have out-of-season 'chokes without the out-of-season price!



Original Post by: carolina_d

Original Post by: tiedyejudy

I steam my fresh artichokes for about 45 minutes, or until one of the outer leaves is tender enough for me to scrape off the inside easily. Preparation: cut off the top and stem with a sharp knife.  If there are stickers on the ends of the leaves, I use kitchen shears to cut them off.  Next, I rinse the artichoke, then place it in a heavy pot with a steamer tray on the bottom, then add  about an inch of water to the pot.  The only 2 things I add are minced garlic to the top of the artichoke, and a little cider or wine vinegar.  I cover the pot, then cook with medium heat, checking once or twice to see if more water needs to be added.  At 45 minutes, I test the tenderness, and if not done, I continue to cook another 10-15 minutes, recheck, etc.  Once it is done, I let it cool in the pan for awhile, then I refrigerate and eat chilled with mayonnaise.  It's also good with butter or italian dressing. 


I basically do mine the same way as you, BUT I use fresh lemon slices (I use about 1/4 of a lemon to rub the cut surfaces of each artichoke, then thinly slice about 1/2 lemon for each artichoke. I then add about 1/2 Tbsp olive oil for each artichoke (Don't worry too much, a lot of the oil will remain behind) and a heaping teaspoonful of fennel seeds plus several whole, peeled garlic cloves. I then cook them like you do. Once they pass the 'leaf test' I remove them from the heat, allow to cool in the water for an hour or so, remove to a rack to reach room temp, then serve and eat. I learned this recipe from a great Italian restaurant in San Francisco about 40+ years ago. They are delicious served with aioli (I make a good one with reduced fat mayo, roasted garlic and a bit of fresh lemon juice and zest. BUT these have enough flavour to eat 'as is' without any dip at all. I make these nearly once each week during artichoke season. I will have to check into techniques for freezing artichokes, I didn't think that was possible. It would be great to have out-of-season 'chokes without the out-of-season price!


Sorry, I misread your recipe. I add water to the tops of the artichokes, then add the rest of the ingredients. I sprinkle each ingredient over the tops of the artichokes (and if you LOVE garlic, you can mince it before using. Just don't use the jars of minced garlic. It will add an off-taste to the entire dish!) Anyway, I then use a heavy plate to keep the artichokes submerged all the way. It should be large enough to keep them submerged, but small enough to allow the bubbles to escape the sides. You want the liquid to condense as they cook. I remove the plate about half way into the cooking time, stir everything up over and into the leaves, put the plate back on for another 20 minutes or so, then remove it altogether, turn the heat up slightly and finish them like that. (The timing I use is for about 4 artichokes. I often double it,  and we eat the others the next day, removing from the fridge to come up to room temp first.) We usually eat the first ones as an app, and the next day have them as the main course for lunch with salad and bread of some sort. If you save the liquid they cooked in, you can reheat it and use it to dip your bread into. (Strain or not, your choice.) Oh, and 1/2 of an average sized artichoke is a good app serving. (Especially if you're serving a dip for them) Just don't forget to remove the 'chokes' and serve the halved hearts too. (IF you can resist keeping them as a 'cook's reward'...LOL)



Original Post by: rosl

Original Post by: ikinga

I live in Italy and here artichokes are used on a wide scale.

One of my favorite is : fresh artichokes. You need the big ones, then have to remove most of the outside leafs, when you get to the heart you just cut it into slices (as you would cut the gabbage). That's it, add some lemon, olive oil and a bit of black peper if you prefer. Simple and deliscious.


Yep I live in Spain and we do the same, (along with lots of other dishes hot and cold) delicious!


I love them like this too. I often add thinly sliced fresh raw fennel as well. There is just something I LOVE about the slight licorice flavour of fennel along with artichokes. I also use the thinly sliced hearts and sliced fennel as a base for a stir-fried dish, or even as an omelet filling. A good aged parm goes well with that.



Original Post by: sharpshootinstar

I love artichokes but am extremely lazy when it comes to them.  I ususally buy the quarted marinated hearts that come in a jar or can.

My favorite artichoke recipe featured whole steamed artichokes that had stuffing under each leaf. You'd pull a leaf off and scrape the artichoke and bit of stuffing off the leaf with your teeth.  So good but a lot of work.


You're right. The stuffed baked artichokes are just wonderful. To me they are worth every second of the prep time.  I have at least a half-dozen recipes for these, some vegetarian, some using meat. I like all of them. As for the jarred marinated artichokes, the only use for those I've ever figured out is as part of an antipasto platter. They are too strongly flavoured for use in many recipes, although they might go in some sort of dip. I make a spinach and artichoke dip that I MIGHT consider subbing the marinated hearts for fresh. Maybe. You CAN buy 'fresh frozen' artichoke hearts if you want a 'jump start' for some recipes. They would be more useful than the marinated ones. The tinned ones are nasty, IMHO.



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