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How to Cook Artichokes

The first time I ate a fresh artichoke, it had been cooked whole in a pot of boiling water. It tasted fine but did not quite seem worth the effort, especially since most of it was inedible, and it was so difficult to remove the choke (the hairy inner core) to get to the heart.

When I later tried cooking artichokes myself (in the dark ages, before Google existed), I came up with idea of removing the choke prior to boiling. I also cut off most of the top of the artichoke, since the edible part is at the base of the leaves. Then I drop them into boiling water, turn off the heat, and let them sit for 10 minutes (or more; the time doesn't seem super critical).

A recent issue of Cook's Illustrated Magazine included an article on roasting artichokes, to "add flavor, not wash it away". Their recipe calls for trimming the artichoke (similar to what I do for boiling), dressing them with oil, salt, and pepper, and then roasting them in a foil-covered, oiled baking dish for 25 to 30 minutes at 475 degrees.

I decided to try preparing them both ways. In the photo below (left roasted, right boiled), each bowl contains a half artichoke perched on a whole artichoke (actually two halves put together).
The roasted artichokes did taste slightly nuttier, but they were more dehydrated, and trickier to eat since they were slick with oil. On top of that, they were messier to prepare, and took longer to cook. The boiled artichokes are more plump, colorful, and taste great, so that's what I'm sticking with!

This article is part of the seeking42 recipe series.

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