Apr 25, 2011

Boiled Artichoke with Sea Salt and Clarified Butter

I have never cooked artichoke in my life,
Look at the shape of this thing, doesn't that intimidate you? You might get cuts just by handling it!

And how in the world do you prepare this spiny ball of vegetable?
Is it even reasonable to buy something that takes so much effort just for that tiny little bit of edible part in the center?

One more point, which might be the most important reason of all, artichokes can get quite expensive compared to other greens.
This little guy costs me $2. I can buy at least 10 sticks of carrot with that money.

But my little experimental heart just can't stop me from shuffling one artichoke into my grocery bag,
Tonight, this spiny monster shall be dissected and history shall be made.

Boiled artichoke with sea salt and clarified butter -


1 big artichoke
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Some sea salt
Some olive oil


Clean the artichoke thoroughly and wipe out the water,
Cut off the stem and the outer tougher part.

For the main artichoke section, cut about 1.5 inch off the top,
Trim the sharp leaf tips with scissor,
Once done, it should look something like this (pardon the semi-messy work here, it's only my first time battling with artichoke) -

Bring a deep pot of water to a boil,
Drizzle some olive oil and toss in few pinches of sea salt,
Transfer the artichoke and the stem into the pot, cover with lid and turn to medium heat,
Just let it simmer for about 40 to 50 minutes depending on the size of your green monster,
Mine is fairly big and it took about 47 minutes.

Once done, remove the artichoke from the pot and let it sit upside down for couple minutes in order to drain out the water in between the leaves.
Cut it in half and spoon out the fury part,
You don't wanna get choked over this throat poking little monsters.

As for the sauce,
Mustard mayonnaise was my first option but later found out there's no premade mayo at home, and I was definitely not in the mood whisking eggs like crazy just for that small bowl of homemade mayo,
What would be my next option then?
Clarified butter it is.

Simply melt the butter with low heat,
Turn off the heat once the butter is fully melted,
Scoop out the floating foam and let the butter cool down for about 5 minutes,
After that, pour the butter into your serving container, discard the bottom semi-solid bits and scoop out more foam if there's any.

Sprinkle some good quality sea salt all over the artichoke while it's still hot,
To eat this weird thing, just pull out the leaf, dip the end with some butter and scrape the edible part with your teeth,
The entire center area is also edible,
Not so sure where to start your first bite?
Trust me, once this veggie is in your mouth, you'll know which part is edible and which is not.

For the stem, peel off the darker green part on the outside and eat the lighter colored section only.

It's been a tough battle considering the time and effort put into this one tiny dish,
But I'm alright! There's not a single battle wound from messing with that monster's spiny scales,
Victory shall be mine!

Cindy's Rating: 6 (I can sense a better artichoke in the near future)


  1. I LOVE artichokes... get them in bulk at Costco (much cheaper!!) :) I get lazy and just "steam" them in the microwave. Trim off the top; put in about 1 1/2 inch of water and a squeeze of lemon juice and microwave for 4-5 minutes. Fav dip is the Kewpie Mayo with a bit of miso, minced garlic, and a pinch of sugar!

    1. Oh I love the idea of using miso for artichokes!! Creamy sauce with artichoke already tastes so good!