How to Peel and Clean an Artichoke
Artichokes are vegetables that are full of beneficial properties for our health, besides being ideal for preparing rich and varied recipes which make the most of their low calorie content. Before cooking artichokes, though, it is necessary to clean and peel them properly to remove the parts that are too hard and inedible. It is not a complicated task, only a little tedious.
In this OneHowTo article we'll explain step by step how to peel and clean an artichoke, as well as how to keep the leaves from browning due to oxidation.
First of all, you must get the right produce. When buying artichokes you must choose those which are firm and have closed leaves and a stalk, since this will ensure that they don't stay hard when cooked. It is best to feel them before choosing them to check that there are no separated or weak leaves, and make sure that you pick the largest ones available.
To learn more about this process, take a look at our article on how to choose artichokes.
Once you have a firm artichoke, you can start peeling them. First of all, remove the stem. You can do this with the help of a knife, like in the image, but the more effective way is to remove it by hand, since this way the toughest fibers are also removed.
Support the artichoke on a surface, either on a table, a board or kitchen counter, keeping the stem facing away from it. Put your hand on the stem and push downwards. With this movement, you'll remove the toughest parts.
You can keep the part closest to the artichoke or, if you want to keep the entire stem, you should peel and remove its outsides. We recommend using latex gloves when cleaning artichokes to prevent you fingers from blackening.
The next step is to manually remove the outer leaves of the artichoke. Remove the tougher leaves, which are of an intense green color and can be immediately discarded. If needed, you can also use a knife. You'll know the tender leaves by their yellowish color; those are the ones you must keep. Next, with a knife, turn the base of the artichoke so that its heart stays tender.
To finish peeling the artichoke, all you have to do is cut the tips of the leaves with a single cut of the knife. The process can take several minutes, but eventually you'll get a well peeled artichoke ready to be cooked just the way you like it.
If you are going to cook the artichokes in smaller pieces you can cut the leaves in half or however you need them.
You should have prepared a bowl or container with water, a little salt and a squirt of lemon juice. Keep the artichokes there to prevent them from rusting and turning brown while you finish cleaning the rest of the artichokes.
This is how to peel and clean an artichoke; if you have any tips or favorite recipes with this healthy vegetable, tell us in the comments section.
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