I adore artichokes. They're so beautiful and so delicious! Unlike most of my suburban elementary school classmates, we would have artichokes frequently and always had lots of fun eating them. They were great kid food, kept us all occupied while the parents could have a moment's peace and quiet. I still make them when ever I can find nice one's in the market. To save time I normally do them in the pressure cooker, but you can cook them in your favorite manner and then proceed with the recipe. These are a great side dish or appetizer. You can either serve just one half per person if you are having other dishes, or serve both halves if you are having a lighter meal. It's wonderful with fish.
2 whole large artichokes
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 tbs olive oil
½ lemon, in wedges
Trim the artichokes as follows:
Trim a small bit off the cut end
With a large knife, cut off the top 1” or so
Snap off the bottom row or two of leaves
With a paring knife carefully trim off the outside fibrous layer and the base of the
Cook the artichokes until tender by using one of the following methods:
Simmer in lots of salted water with 1 tea sugar
Pressure cooker for 10 minutes with 1 cup water w/ ½ tea salt & ½ tea sugar
Check for tenderness by pulling off one of the lower leaves and eating! If it’s still tough, give it a few more minutes.
Remove the artichokes from the stove and drain. Cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, place them upside down on a cutting board so that you can cut them in half north to south. Carefully remove the choke and small leaves in the center with a paring knife.
Melt the butter with the olive oil and salt in a large heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the artichokes cut side down. Cook over medium low until the cut side is nicely browned.
Notes: serves 2 to 4. If you would like, you can melt additional butter and pour over before serving, but you really don't need to.