When I was a little girl, my mom would cook up a big pot of artichokes for dinner when they were in season. We'd gather as a family around the dinner table, peeling apart the layers upon layers of leaves, dipping them in butter and scraping the rich meat off with our teeth. They take a while to eat, so we'd often have some pretty interesting conversations at the table. (I bet mom knew this would happen!)
I find artichokes to be a wonderful treat. They're rich and if you leave off the butter, a very healthy source of fiber and nutrients. I once heard someone refer to them as the lobster of the vegetable world. That's really true. They are a wonderful treat and when in season, I like to have them for lunch about once a week.
Forget about cooking them for dinner at our house. Young One would faint and D would ask, "Where's the beef?" We'd be rather reluctant vegetarians. I think I'd have an easier time of it than my boys.
Next time you're at the grocery store, I challenge you, grab a few thistles and boil or steam them. I think you might be surprised how delicious this veggie is.
Thistles for Dinner
One medium artichoke has ZERO Points. Zero. None. Zip. A rich and filling treat, artichokes are in season from March until May.
Wash artichokes well. You can use a kitchen shears to snip off the sharp tips if you wish. I never do, I'm just careful. They are a member of the thistle family, so they can be sharp! Trim the cut stem and place in a large pan. Fill with water and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until you can pull off a leaf easily. You can steam them as well. Steam 25-35 minutes.
If you're on Weight Watchers and you haven't gotten your healthy oils in yet, serve the artichokes with garlic olive oil (fresh garlic, oil, salt, and pepper).
To eat, simply peel the leaves off, scrape meat off the lower edge of the leaf with your teeth. You can dip or eat them plain. When you get to the interior leaves and they become small and fuzzy, use a knife to scrape them off. You have now come to the delicious artichoke heart. Cut and enjoy.