To clean an artichokes first of all you need a lemon. 

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Once cleaned, the artichokes tend to oxidize quickly, assuming a characteristic dark color .For this reason slice the lemon in half and to avoid that the artichokes begin to blacken during cleaning, you need to rub a little juice on your hands. Furthermore, this will protect  your  from a possible  slight blackening of your fingertips.

Squeeze the lemon in a bowl with cold water and when you slice the artichokes, immediately dip them in cold water acidulated with lemon.

To thoroughly clean an artichoke,  you need to eliminate the spiky tips by cutting the vegetable at about 2 thirds of height.

Grasp the artichoke on the cut side and with the other hand, detach the hard and leathery outer leaves one by one, until you reach the central part of the most tender artichoke, the so-called “heart”.

At this point, with the help of a teaspoon, remove the central hay, digging gently, then level the bottom of the artichoke with a knife and immerse it immediately in water acidulated with lemon juice to prevent it from blackening.

If the recipe includes cut artichokes, equalize the bottom first, then divide the heart of the artichoke into 4 wedges and remove the central part of the hay with a small knife. You can now leave the whole wedges or divide them into vertical slices, always dipping them in water and lemon .

Now you can proceed with your recipes,for example Carciofi Trifolati or Carciofi all’Etrusca.

Artichokes: how to choose them

The premise for the success of each artichoke recipe is the choice of the raw material. The artichokes must be firm, without stains and without spoiled leaves. It must have the tip closed and the outside must be dark green. The beard inside should not be excessive. To recognize its freshness, grab the artichoke between the index and the thumb, press and, if it offers resistance without flattening, then you will be in front of a really fresh product.

Artichokes: how to get rid of the beard

The hay or beard contained in the heart of the artichoke is one of the clues to understand if the product purchased is fresh or not. Absolute certainty can only be given by the central cut, which opens up the internal part of the artichoke. Once the center of the vegetable is revealed, if there is little beard, then the artichoke will be fresh. To eliminate the fluff, which should never be left in the cooking, just use a spoon or a scoop with which to scrape off the light hairs typical of the artichoke. 

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