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1. Wash artichokes under cold running water.

2. Pull off lower petals which are small or discolored.

3. Cut stems close to base. (Use stainless knives to prevent discoloration).

4. Cut off top quarter and tips of petals, if desired. ( Generally, some people like the look of clipped petals, but it really isn't necessary to remove the thorns. They soften with cooking and pose no threat to diners. )

5. Plunge into acidified water to preserve color. ( One tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice per quart of water. )

6. Optional: The trimmed artichoke stems are edible. Cut brown end about 1/2-inch. Peel fibrous outer layer to reach tender green of stem. Stem may be steamed whole with the artichoke. Cut into rounds or julienne for salads or pastas.

Stand prepared artichoke in deep saucepan or pot with 3 inches boiling water. (If desired, oil, lemon juice and seasonings can be added to cooking water.) Cover and boil gently 25 to 40 minutes, depending on size, or until petal near the center pulls out easily. Stand artichoke upside down on a rack to drain,

Place prepared artichoke on a rack above an inch or two of boiling water. Cover and steam 25 to 45 minutes, depending on size, or until a petal near the center pulls out easily.

MICROWAVE (700 watt oven)
For one: Set one medium sized prepared artichoke upside down in a small glass bowl (a 2 cup measure will do) with ¼ cup water, ½ teaspoon each lemon juice and oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Cook on high 6 to 7 minutes. Let stand covered 5 minutes after cooking.

California Artichoke Advisory Board


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