Artichokes are a nostalgic food for me. I remember eating lots of them as a kid in the early spring when artichoke season rolled around. I loved working my way towards the center, scrapping the fleshy part of each leaf between my teeth. The best part comes last – once you have worked your way down to the heart. It’s food you have to work for, but you are rewarded for your efforts.
It is April in NYC, and beautiful artichokes flown in from California are starting to appear in grocery stores. I grew up eating artichokes, but it wasn’t until recently that I started preparing them myself. Artichokes are one of my favorite foods, but they are an intimidating vegetable to take on for the first time. The good news is that they are easier to prep than you’d think – you just have to be mindful of the sharp point on the tip of each leaf. If you are new to artichokes, basic steamed artichokes may be an easier first time approach.