Round, hard and spikey, the artichoke doesn’t appear edible, but this delicious vegetable has been around forever and is enjoyed all over the globe. It’s actually quite simple to prepare and beneath its thorny surface hides a treasure trove of nutrients.
The most delicious and simplest way to prepare an artichoke is to simply boil it. Make sure to trim the little thorns off the end of the leaves. Rinse the artichoke in cold water and then place in a pot of water, cover and boil for 25 to 45 minutes. Toss in garlic, lemon and other herbs and spices to the pot to add flavor. (When you’re done, don’t throw out the water; save it for vegetable stock or soup!)
Once the outer leaves have softened and can be peeled off, it is ready to eat. Artichokes can be eaten hot or cold. Peel and dip the leaves in butter, mayonnaise or other sauces. After you have peeled your way to the core, or choke, scrape out and discard the spikey part covering the heart. Cut the heart into pieces, and it’s ready to eat.
One medium sized artichoke is just 60 calories and contains 7 grams of dietary fiber and 4.2 grams of protein.