This one is my Mom’s creation, and a childhood favorite for me! I don’t even like fish, but adding in the anchovies creates a salty kick that this vegetable needs.
4-6 artichokes (1 per person)
Tip: Buy artichokes when they are in season, make sure that you choose the type that come to a point at the top, I have cooked the ones that are more of a round shape and they were tough.
1 container of anchovies in oil
Clean the artichokes under cold water. Use a knife to cut the top of the artichokes and the bottoms, so they can sit flat in the pot. Use a scissor to snip the pointed tops off of the outer leaves. Use a deep pot with a lid; fill with enough water to go partially up the side of the artichoke, only about 2 inches. Salt the artichoke on the outside all over, and add a few shakes of salt to the water in the pot as well. Use about 3 or 4 anchovies per artichoke, break each anchovy in half and place between the leaves, some on the outer leaves and some on the inner leaves.
Lay the artichokes in the bottom of the pot with water and heat the water on high until it boils. Once it boils, put the heat down to medium and add a lid on the pot so the steam cooks the artichokes. Check them every so often, make sure the water does not boil away, that happened to me once and I burnt my pot! Awful!
After about 25 minutes try to pull an outer leaf, and if it easily comes off – the artichokes are fully cooked. If not, leave them for more steaming and check on them every 5 minutes until tender. Serve hot as an appetizer, that’s the way we do it in our family. It would be weird as a side dish, it takes a while to eat these so the rest of the dinner would go cold as you eat this leaf by leaf.
Once you have eaten all of the leaves, you will see a hairy looking “choke”. Use your knife to cut out the choke as it is inedible, but don’t toss that meaty flavorful heart at the bottom, away. The heart is the prize, it tastes fantastic! The heart k(pictured) keeps me going leaf by leaf through the artichoke; just the anticipation of that yumminess makes the effort to make your way to the heart worthwhile.