Come spring artichokes flood the market. This vibrant green vegetable is a delight to eat but preparing it at home can be a bit tricky for beginners. Which brings us to today's topic: do you know how long to steam artichokes?
Before steaming an artichoke the veggie must be prepped: the top should be cut off (and the stem, if you prefer), the leaves should be trimmed and the artichokes should rest in a bath of lemon water to prevent oxidizing while you finish with the rest of the bunch.
How long to steam artichokes will depend on the size of the vegetable but most recipes call for cooking them anywhere from 25 minutes to 40 minutes. The artichokes will be tender when they can be pierced with a knife.
The Trick To Steaming Artichokes
The thing about artichokes is that they discolor when exposed to air. That's why it is essential to keep them immersed in water with lemon during prep. They also have to be steamed in a pot of water and lemon juice.
How Julia Child Steamed Artichokes
Julia Child had a trick up her sleeve to prevent discoloration of artichokes.
In her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking the famous American chef and author recommends steaming artichokes in a pot of boiling water infused with a bit of lemon juice and flour. This solution is called ablanc (the French word for white).
"Flour and lemon blanch the food and keep its whiteness," she wrote.
To prepare the blanc you must blend 1/4 cup of flour with a bit of water to make a paste. Then beat in a quart of water. Add 2 tbsp of lemon juice and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes.
Add the artichokes to the pot, bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Steam the artichokes for 30 to 40 minutes until tender.
Select the Right Pot to Steam Artichokes
Child has one final tip for steaming artichokes: "Never cook artichoke bottoms in anything but enamel, pyrex, stainless steel or earthenware. Aluminum or iron pans will give them a grayish color."
Note: For a gluten-free way to steam artichokes simply omit the flour. Just steam with water, lemon juice and salt. Ensure the artichokes are fully submerged in the water when cooking.
Dal is one of those recipes that goes all the way back to the Indus Valley Civilisation. Unlike dishes such as biryani, brought to India by the Moghuls, it is one of those foods that has always been there. It is therefore a building block of Indian culture.
World Whisky Day is the perfect excuse to raise a glass of the spirit and savour its character and flavour. But there's a lot more to whisky than hot toddies and cocktails - it makes a great ingredient, adding punch and flavour to your cooking.
Our quick and easy cast-iron skillet pizza recipe is adaptable and straightforward. If you have a favourite sauce or topping, feel free to sub it in to make your very own version of the perfect cast-iron skillet pizza. Take a look.
In the North Atlantic, near Canada's eaternmost point, Fair Island is haunted by the the struggles past, but finding a new future. Kaja Sajovic visited the people that still fish, hunt, cook and live on the island.