I am very well aware that summer does not necessarily translate to “yay, veggies!!” for everyone. It does for me though. Whether the vegetables are coming from my small garden, a friends’ garden or the farmer’s market, I love this time of year!
Artichokes in particular are a favorite of mine. I hold out for them until they’re in season and a good price. I’ve learned however, not everyone knows what to do with this green pokey thistle. Some people are so naïve as to think an artichoke is only good for it’s heart (gasp).
Ever since I was little, my mom cooked in patterns. She is a super organized purposeful woman who will do whatever she can to be a time-saver. Therefore, we ate our meals in patterns. My mom was on a 2 week recipe rotation and every 2 weeks, the meals started over. This simplified her grocery shopping, made cooking a breeze, and she knew we’d eat the food because she picked things we all liked. Steamed artichokes with what my mom called “tuna puffs” and sweet carrots was a meal I had every 2 weeks for I don’t know how long. I looooved it. To this day steamed artichokes with tuna patties are my absolute favorite home cooked meal.
Because of this, I like making this meal for my kids and whenever we have company. There is a problem though. Many people look at the large green pokey leaves on their plate in disgust. My guest often glance at me to see if this is some in of prank. As if I would go out of my way to steam a cacti just to make them freak out. I am that kinda girl, so I don’t blame them for that one. I am astonished at how few people seem to know the wonder that is the artichoke!
Setting The Record Straight
Artichokes are delicious. They are technically an edible thistle. If you were to eat a whole cooked artichoke, you would consume about 60 calories. Artichokes are high in potassium, magnesium and vitamin c. They also are a good source of fiber.
People who are in the “I love artichokes” camp usually enjoy dipping the leaves into a mayo-lemon sauce. I personally like mine with my paleo mayonnaise recipe and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice mixed in.
Try the mayo-lemon idea and go from there! You might even discover your new favorite summer veggie.
For this recipe you'll need a pressure cooker (kinda why I title it like that). A good pressure cooker is invaluable. If you don't know where to find one, try ordering one here.
Fill your pressure cooker with the 2 cups of water and drop the bay leaves in whole.
Cut the stems off of your artichokes. Now cut them in half from stem to tip.
Place them in the pressure cooker leaves side facing up. They should be in the water, but not covered entirely by the water.
Put your lid on and turn it until is seals. Each pressure cooker is slightly different, so make sure you understand yours!
Turn the heat on medium high and cook for 10-15 minutes until you hear the top pressure valve whistle or rattle. Mine is older, so it's more of a rattling sound. Once that has started, allow the artichokes to cook for another 5-7 minutes.
Remove from heat and let the pressure come out of the pot before opening. I do this by tipping the pressure valve to the side and the steam comes right out of the top. Once the steam is out, you can safely turn the handle to open the pot. I would suggest using oven mitts just in case however
Serve your artichokes with a dipping sauce, and remember to eat only the part of the leaves that pulls out of the plant, not the tip! Oh, and scrape the choke from the heart so you can eat that too!