The large bud of a thistle plant with tough petal-shaped leaves. Unrelated to the Jerusalem artichoke, Chinese artichoke or Japanese artichoke.
Season: April - June
How to select: Look for deep green artichokes with tight leaf formations. Also available canned.
How to store: Unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
How to prepare: To eat whole, you cook by baking, braising, roasting, or steaming and then break off each leaf. Draw the bottom of the leaf against your teeth to remove the soft part and discard the rest. Often dipping the bottom of each leaf in a sauce or butter. Once all the leaves are removed, you scrape away the inedible choke, and are left with the tender heart and meaty bottom. Leaves and choke can be removed before cooking, so only the edible heart is used in the dish.
Matches well with: aioli, anchovies, bacon, basil, bread crumbs, butter, goat cheese, chervil, cream, cumin, fennel, garlic, hollandaise sauce, lemon, mayonnaise, mushrooms, olive oil, onions, Parmesan cheese, parsley, pepper, salt, sausage, thyme, tomatoes, vinaigrette
Substitutions: artichoke = Jerusalem artichokes or hearts of palm