Love those artichoke appetizers you get at restaurants but stop in your tracks when you see them on display at the store? Yes, artichokes look intimidating, but once you know the secret of artichoke prep, you'll look for opportunities to prepare them at home.
Artichokes, a plant in the thistle family, are one of the healthiest foods around, rich in fiber and great for gut health and immunity, along with weight loss thanks to their low calorie count. Artichokes are high in folate, a B vitamin, vitamin C and magnesium.
All you need to prep artichokes are sharp knives and scissors or kitchen shears. Rinse the artichokes and trim off the stems with your knife. Next, use the scissors to cut off the tips of the outer leaves. Then cut the artichokes in half from bottom to tip. Using a sharp paring knife, cut out the chokes, the inedible prickly centers. That's all there is to it. Now you're ready to roast them.
Zesty Roasted Artichokes
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place the artichoke halves on an 8-by-12-inch sheet of parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix the parsley, olive oil, garlic and salt, stirring well to combine.
Use a spatula to spread the mixture over the artichokes and then carefully flip them so that they're cut-side down. Now fold over the parchment paper lengthwise to form a package, twisting the ends and tucking them underneath. Transfer your parchment parcel to a baking sheet and roast for 35 to 40 minutes. The artichokes should be tender and golden brown.
While they're roasting, make the dip. Mix the mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, honey and mustard in a small bowl until combined. Serve alongside the artichokes.
Yield: 2 servings
The California Artichoke Advisory Board has more on artichokes from shopping tips to recipes.