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Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Skip this recipe if you don’t own a microwave oven. Before I bought one, I’d indulge my love of fresh artichokes only on weekends when I had the time to prepare them for cooking, boil them, and then clean up the huge cooking pot.
Now that I’ve discovered how uncomplicated and unmessy it is to cook artichokes in a microwave, I can have them any day of the week. In 10 to 20 minutes (depending on how many artichokes I’m cooking at once), my artichokes are cooked beautifully tender, aromatic, and unsoggy. Serve them with any of the sauces suggested below.
1. With a sharp knife, cut the stem and the top 1 inch of leaves from each artichoke. Wrap each artichoke in microwave-proof plastic wrap and set them in a circle on a microwave-proof dish.
2. Cook at full power: 2 medium artichokes will take 10 to 12 minutes; 3 or 4 artichokes, 15 minutes; and 6 artichokes, 20 minutes.
3. Remove them from the oven and unwrap them carefully (the plastic is very hot). Serve them right away or set them upside down on a plate to cool.
If you’re going to serve the artichokes hot, while they’re cooking, whip up a saucy accompaniment to dip them in.
• Stir-fry ¼ teaspoon minced garlic and 1/8 teaspoon crushed black pepper in ½ cup olive oil for a couple of minutes to release their aroma. Dip the leaves in this flavored olive oil.
• Heat 1/3 cup olive oil and stir in 2 tablespoons black olive paste or pesto, or ¼ cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
• Heat ½ cup olive oil until hot. Remove it from the heat and stir in ½ cup minced fresh herbs of your choice.
If you’re going to serve the artichokes chilled or at room temperature, you can turn them into a meal by serving two per person and by accompanying them with ricotta cheese that you can use as a dip.
• Another good sauce to serve with cold artichokes is made by mixing ¼ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup ketchup, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
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