What I want to know is this: what person, who first stumbled upon the artichoke, sat down and thought, "Well, gee, I think I'll try to eat that."? Maybe they were starving to death or something. This is not a hospitable-looking plant....but it sure is a delicious one.
Marinated artichokes are delicious on pizza, pasta, or on salads, but plain artichokes are absolutely amazing when they're roasted. The best part is, it's ridiculously easy. It takes a long time to roast them (an hour to an hour and 20 minutes, depending on the size), but it's SO worth it.
You begin by slicing off the stem at the base of it, so it can sit up on its little nub. Then slice off the top third of the leaves. This part is basically inedible, so you're not wasting it.
"Fluff" the leaves, and stick in 4-5 whole cloves of garlic between the leaves.
Use a little drizzle of olive oil to grease a square of aluminum foil. Place the artichoke in the middle. Drizzle with more olive oil, then squeeze the juice from half a lemon over the top. I forgot about this part, and we did not have lemons, so I used a lime this time. Do as I say, not as I do, children.
Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, and roll up the foil into a little artichoke ball.
Place in a Pyrex dish and pop into a 425-degree oven for an hour to an hour and 20 minutes, depending on the size of your artichoke. I did these guys for about an hour and 15 minutes, and B said they were cooked perfectly.
When you take them out, be VERY careful. Let them sit a few minutes before you open the foil, and when you do, do so with care. That steam is HOT!
To eat, start with the outside layers of leaves and work your way in. Scrape then against your teeth to get the "meat" off. There won't be much, if any, in the outer layers, but the closer you get to the inside the more of the leaf you can eat. When you get down to the heart of the artichoke, scrape out the fuzzy-looking stuff and then eat the heart, or "butt" of the artichoke. It's DELICIOUS - the best part.
Check out the original recipe here, or see below for the Emily version.
2 whole artichokes
8-10 cloves garlic, whole
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425.
Cut off the stem and the top third of the leaves of the artichoke.
"Fluff" the leaves, and put 4-5 cloves of garlic in each artichoke.
Grease a square of aluminum foil with the oil. Put artichoke in the middle and drizzle with more oil.
Squeeze the juice of half a lemon on the artichoke.
Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, then wrap the artichoke in the foil.
Place in a foil-lined Pyrex dish and bake for an hour to an hour and 20 minutes, depending on the size of the artichokes.
When finished, carefully remove from oven and let cool a few minutes before eating.
Enjoy - and trust me, you will!