So, how exactly do you approach an artichoke? Food editor Russ Parsons shares a variety of ways to enjoy this edible flower:
"I was giving one of my periodic talks at local libraries the other day, and someone asked if I knew a good way to prepare artichokes. It stopped me cold. A good way? Only one? Which one? Do you want artichokes by themselves? Do you want artichokes as an ingredient? Do you want them cooked or do you want them raw? Too many choices.
"Despite the fact they look so unquestionably inedible, there is no shortage of ways to cook artichokes. In fact, just talking about them for a couple of minutes got me so hungry I went home and prepared an all-artichoke dinner.
"That may sound strange. The vast majority of artichokes are consumed only one way: boiled or steamed and served with drawn butter or flavored mayonnaise. And certainly, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. The only problem is believing that that's where artichokes end. There's a lot more to the artichoke than you might have thought."