Prepping a fresh artichoke can seem like an intimidating task, but once you know what to do I assure you it couldn't be any easier. Although, it is a bit messy - I think sometimes the mess is part of the fun!
2 lemons, halved
Create a lemon ice bath for the artichokes by filling a large container with ice and water, squeeze in the juice of 3 of the lemon halves and toss the lemon halves in as well. Set aside.
Remove the bottom leaves of the artichoke by pulling them off and slice off the stem.
Remove around ½ an inch of the artichoke's top with a sharp knife revealing the yellow inside of the artichoke.
Carefully, snip the prickly parts of the outer leaves using sharp kitchen scissors to give them flat edges.
Rub the remaining lemon half all over the artichoke, paying special attention to the areas where you’ve cut it.
Next fully submerge the artichoke into the prepared ice-bath.
Repeat this process with any remaining artichokes.
At this point you can move on to cooking methods like steaming, boiling, or microwaving where the artichoke is called for being cooked whole.
If you need to remove the hairy choke from the center of the artichoke before cooking like when roasting artichokes in the oven or grilling continue with the steps below.
Place the artichoke upside down on a cutting board. Then, use a sharp knife to slice through the stem end of the artichoke until the artichoke is in two halves.
Use a pairing knife to remove the center petals and the hairy choke. A small spoon also works wonders as a tool for this.
Rub the artichoke all over the inside with lemon and cook as desired.
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